2 Ga. teens accused of shooting baby in stroller

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BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Two teenagers were arrested yesterday and accused of fatally shooting a 13-month-old baby in the face and wounding his mother during their morning stroll through a leafy, historic neighborhood.

Sherry West had just been to the post office a few blocks from her apartment Thursday morning and was pushing her son, Antonio, in his stroller while they walked past gnarled oak trees and blooming azaleas in the coastal city of Brunswick.

West said a tall, skinny teenager, accompanied by a smaller boy, asked her for money. "He asked me for money and I said I didn't have it," she said yesterday from her apartment, which was scattered with her son's toys and movies.

"When you have a baby, you spend all your money on babies. They're expensive. And he kept asking and I just said, 'I don't have it.' And he said, 'Do you want me to kill your baby?' And I said, 'No, don't kill my baby!' "

One of the teens fired four shots, grazing West's ear and striking her leg, before he walked around to the stroller and shot the baby in the face.

De'Marquis Elkins, 17, is charged as an adult with first-degree murder, along with a 14-year-old who was not identified because he is a juvenile, Police Chief Tobe Green said. It wasn't immediately clear whether they had attorneys.

Police announced the arrest yesterday afternoon after combing school records and canvassing neighborhoods. The chief said the motive was under investigation and the weapon had not been found.

"I feel glad that justice will be served," West said. "It's not something I'm going to live with very well. I'm just glad they caught him."

The slaying happened around the corner from West's apartment in the city's Old Town historic district. The slain boy's father, Luis Santiago, lives in a house across the street.

West said her son was walking well on his own and eight of his teeth had come in. But she also mourned the milestones that will never come, like Antonio's first day at school.

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"I'm always going to wonder what his first word would be," West said.

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