BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A Georgia teen convicted of fatally shooting a baby in a stroller was sentenced Thursday to spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance of parole after the grieving mother asked a judge to punish the gunman for taking "the love of my life."
De'Marquise Elkins, 18, stood silent and showed no emotion as he was sentenced in a courtroom less than two weeks after a jury found him guilty of murder in the slaying of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago during a robbery attempt.
"His first word was never heard. His first sentence was never said," Sherry West, the baby's mother, said through tears on the witness stand as she read a statement made to rhyme like a poem or a nursery rhyme. "He never got to sleep in a toddler bed."
The baby 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. West, and a younger teenager charged as an accomplice, both testified at trial that Elkins killed the baby after his mother refused to give up her purse.
Elkins' trial was moved to the Atlanta suburbs because of pretrial publicity.
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 for capital punishment. Under Georgia law, the only possible punishments for him were life with or without a chance of parole.