BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia teenager convicted of fatally shooting a baby in a stroller while trying to rob the child's mother was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole.
De'Marquise Elkins, 18, was sentenced in Georgia's Glynn County Superior Court less than two weeks after a jury found him guilty of murder in the slaying of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago.
The toddler was in his stroller and out for a walk with his mother when he was shot between the eyes March 21 in the Georgia coastal city of Brunswick. The mother and a younger teenager charged an accomplice testified at the trial that Elkins killed the boy after his mother refused to give up her purse.
Elkins was spared the death penalty because the killing occurred when he was 17, which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled is too young to face capital punishment. Under Georgia law, the only possible punishments for Elkins were life with or without a chance of parole.
Prosecutors said Sherry West was pushing her son in his stroller as she walked home from a post office when two teenagers approached her that day in March, just a few blocks from her apartment.
Dominique Lang, 15, testified at the trial he was with Elkins when the older teen pulled a gun and demanded West's purse. When she refused to give it to him, Lang said, Elkins twice threatened her baby and counted down from five.
West testified she pleaded with Elkins that she had no money and tried to cover her child with her arms as the gunman fired a warning shot, fired a bullet into her in the leg and shot her baby in the face.