The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

August 17, 2013

Ga. man faces trial in killing of baby in stroller

(Continued)

The GBI report cautioned that gunshot victims can end up with residue on them. During a preliminary court hearing, Santiago said he touched the bullet wound on West's leg before his hands were swabbed.

In a court filing Wednesday, District Attorney Jackie Johnson argued that Elkins' defense lawyers have made "false, inflammatory and misleading statements" about the case.

While the toddler's mother identified Elkins as the shooter in a photo lineup, police say much of their evidence against the teenager came from his own family and the younger teen charged as his accomplice.

Investigators have testified that Lang told police he and Elkins were trying to rob a woman pushing a baby in a stroller when Elkins pulled a gun and shot them both.

Lang's aunt, Debra Obey, told police her nephew and Elkins came to her for a ride the day of the slaying. She said Elkins ducked down in the back seat of her car, as if he was hiding.

Four days after the shooting, police said information from Elkins' mother and sister helped lead investigators to a pond where they found a .22-caliber revolver. Both women were charged with evidence tampering. Elkins' mother, Karimah Elkins, also was charged with lying to police. Prosecutors say Elkins' mother and an aunt gave police conflicting alibis for his whereabouts at the time of the shooting. Karimah Elkins is scheduled to stand trial alongside her son.

Meanwhile, prosecutors say Elkins shot somebody else 10 days before the toddler was killed. Wilfredo Calix Flores has identified Elkins as the man who shot him in the arm during an attempted street robbery March 11. Police say Flores was shot with a .22-caliber bullet.

The judge has ruled that jurors can hear about a statement police say Elkins made the day after the killing. Police investigator Roderic Nohilly testified at a pretrial hearing that he and officer Cody Blades were escorting a handcuffed Elkins when the suspect said, "Y'all ain't got no gun. Y'all ain't got no fingerprints." He then referenced an acquittal.

The investigator said Blades just smiled at Elkins, who responded: "Oh, y'all got the gun?"

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