Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Both Teens in Baby Antonio Murder Charged As Adults

Apparently the police in Brunswick, Georgia, believe they have a very strong case against De'Marquise Elkins, the alleged shooter in the death of Baby Antonio, and the recently identified 15-year-old, Dominique Lang. The pair will be charged as adults, reports U.S. News on NBC.

Furthermore, Elkins has lost his alibi. His mother and aunt have been arrested for lying to the police:
Karima Aisha Elkins, 36, and Katrina Latrelle Elkins, 33, were booked on charges of making false statements to police and concealing facts or providing fraudulent documents in matters of government, Glynn County police said.
These women look troubled in their mug shots, and I mean that in the mental health sense. If it turns out that what Lang's mother told CNN is what her son actually told her and not what she hopes, then it would appear that Sherry West may also be telling the truth. Lang's mother told the news network that her son is a victim of Elkins's threats; he feared for his own life and was only a witness.

And yet, even West's own daughter seems to doubt her regarding how Baby Antonio died.

I stand by innocent until proven guilty.  I hope we remember that family dysfunction and having relatives who will lie does not prove that a person is guilty of a specific crime. Such craziness merely identifies the accused as the product of dysfunction. Having a mother who will say whatever she can to protect you and even having been in trouble with the law before does not mean a person accused of a crime committed the specific crime of which he or she's been accused. And even when considering a person's criminal record, the types of past crimes are a factor as well. Does Elkins have a history of committing violent crimes?

But again, if the boys did it, they should be punished.

I must address another issue here. Someone on Twitter said to me, "This has nothing to do with race. Don't make it into that. It is about a little baby murdered."

It's true that the murder itself is "not about race," but the aftermath naturally touches on race. The history of African-Americans in Southern states and the criminal justice system makes that so, and this is one of the reasons we must be careful now.

Unless we can resurrect Baby Antonio, there's nothing left for the people to do but see that justice is served, to actively seek the facts and truth about what happened. Is justice served when people are thrown into prison without considering the source of accusations against them? Really?

Also, can I "make" something about race that does not already involve the constructs of race? Whenever anyone tells me that race is not a factor, a warning light goes off in my head. For that person on Twitter, this criminal incident may have nothing to do with race. She may be so upset at the idea that a baby was murdered that she can't think about anything else. However, she can't speak for others out there who  assumed the teens were guilty simply on the mother's say-so because the teens are black.

Those people, people like George Zimmerman's brother Robert, would gladly point to statistics and launch a sweep of black teens into prison.  His brother went into a racist rant on Twitter following the news that Sherry West had identified two black teens as the perpetrators. So, why don't these people who say "don't make this about race" write to Robert Zimmerman Jr.?

And why do such people refuse to examine West's story? Where are the forensics on this case? Has a gun been recovered? Did the police find blood on the Elkins boy's shirt, gun powder on his hands? What was the motive behind shooting the baby, and why didn't the alleged shooter also shoot West since she could identify him? Not enough people are asking these kinds of questions because many in the public assume that if some wooly-headed black boys from troubled homes have been accused and arrested, they must be guilty.

But I say the principle of innocent until proven guilty stands to protect most those people who are most likely to face discrimination in the court of public opinion and the actual courtroom. It is not reserved only for the angelic-looking, wealthy, and previously-trouble-free citizens among us.

Still, I'll assert the following one more time for the hard of hearing and slow to comprehend: Killing an innocent baby is a horrific crime. If the boys did this, they must be punished. And yet I must ask, why do some people have trouble with the word if?

Updated @ 11:00 P.M.: Police have recovered a gun and are testing it to see if it is the same gun used in the shooting. Read more at AJC.
And from The Grio, "Brunswick baby murder brings racial tensions to the surface." Elkins's lawyer says his client is innocent?


The Bleat said...

I found a post from Ashley Glassey from a few years ago, where she shares her story to help another Yahoo user. She says the she and her brother Shaun were taken away from their mother Sherry at the age of 10, because Sherry was an alcoholic and would beat them pretty badly.

I question Sherry's story. I'm sorry to her if this really is a random act of violence. I apologize deeply in that case, but just know--Antonio is a precious little baby to all of us, so know that we question because we care about him.

I question why a 13 month old is sleeping in a stroller at 9 am after just leaving the house.

I question why Antonio was shot, when he was not the one with the money...

I question why Sherry told us an inaccurate story surrounding the death of her older son, Shaun--why she had the newspaper clipping ready for an interview.

I question why the baby was cremated so soon--no toxicology? No autopsy to determine whether he sustained injuries prior to the gun shot wounds?

I question why Sherry feels she has to keep running from people, yet tells leads us to believe this is a random act of violence committed for money.

I question how these two kids who didn't know each other are now implicated in one of the worst every crimes: baby killing.

I question the motive.

I question why Sherry felt the need to tell us that her disability payments have been paid out.--just after saying how hard it is to raise a baby.

I question why African Americans may be inclined to lie about a crime in the south.

I question why Shaun Glassey's father said, "I forgive the killer," as does Antonio's father.

I question why no one saw the kids running away from the gun shots.

I question how Sherry didn't punch a kid who was in her and her baby's personal space, threatening to shoot a baby after supposedly firing three shots from a real gun.

I question why Sherry experienced superficial wounds, but her baby is dead.

I question why Sherry had so much pain medication that she claims she didn't feel the gun shot.

I question how the police were able to get Demarquise based on absentee records when he wasn't in school.

I question this story, and I don't feel totally guilty--a little--because her child is gone.

It's okay to question.

Unknown said...

Hello Bleat, I too have questions exactly like you- I have found Ms. West violent assault record in N.J and its possible that was against the children- its rumored she has multiple drug arrest/convictions. I am still trying to confirm that though. I would like to ask you do you have a link to Ashley Glasseys post on Yahoo? I also cant find out how "Sharon Glassey went to West.. Anyway if you could provide a link that would be great- I think she will be a highly questionable witness..

raul isodo said...

Why don't you just let law enforcement handle it? What gives you the right to dig into someone's past looking for dirt, just so you can discredit them and say "I knew it". Do yourselves and the rest of us a favor and get a hobby. Read a book. Go for a walk, whatever. Just keep your nose out of other peoples' personal business and stop yapping about it in a public forum.

Vérité Parlant is Nordette Adams said...

Raul, when citizens give up their rights to question and investigate what they are told by law enforcement and other human authorities, they give up democracy/freedom. But I think you know that already. At least, I hope you do.

Matt James said...

I was taught that there is no such thing as a bad question wanting to be informed is mandatory now for me so as not to prejudge anything but get the facts and make my opinion on the facts alone not color...