Jurors hear from man who tipped police about baby-shooting suspect

by Walter C. Jones - Morris News Service

MARIETTA, Ga. -- A man who tipped Brunswick police to two suspects in the March 21 shooting of a toddler told a Cobb County jury today his conscience led him to act, not the reward.

"I didn't do this for the reward money. Can I say this? Whoever had the guns to shoot a baby... I'm doing this for my conscience," said Argie Brooks.

He has collected $2,000 and will get another $8,000 if De'Marquise "Marky" Elkins and co-defendant Dominique Lang are convicted. Elkins is being tried in Cobb County because of the amount of pre-trial news coverage in Glynn County. Lang is being tried separately later.

Elkins' lawyers called Brooks to the stand because they argue he essentially framed Elkins and Lang.

Brooks said he was living with Lang's aunt Debra Obley and overheard her mention her nephew's involvement in the shooting of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago and his mother, Sherry West who was wounded in the leg.

"I was the first person to go up to detectives. They didn't have no leads, no suspects," Brooks said.

He approached a Brunswick police officer and offered to get Obley high on crack cocaine so she would talk more freely if the officer would supply money for the drug. The officer declined, and later Brooks told his probation officer of his willingness to tip police, and they picked him up for questioning.

Brooks testified in a prison jumpsuit because he is awaiting his own trial on armed-robbery charges that would result in a sentence of life without parole on conviction. But he told jurors he has no deal with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony in Elkins' case.

Defense attorney Kevin Gough said the conviction bonus was a windfall. "Marky Elkins is the gift that keeps on giving for you," he said, Brooks suggested the attorney would feel differently if he were a prosecutor.

"You call it snitch money. It would be 'help money' -- it would be 'please help money' -- if it was on the other way," he said.

Earlier in the day, the defense called two paramedics and a nurse who attended to West the morning of the shooting. All said she didn't know who shot her.

Nurse Jennifer Krauss testified that West kept asking about the condition of the baby who was also at the same hospital.

"She was so concerned with the baby she didn't even have concern for her leg," Krauss said.

A psychology professor from Georgia State University also testified about how witnesses are often mistaken about identifying attackers because of stress and police suggestions. "When you go to retrieve that memory, it's been updated and influenced by all these things," said Dr. Heather Kleider.

Another expert witness, firearms examiner Jay Jarvis, testified that his analysis agreed with the crime lab conclusion that it is impossible to prove the gun police recovered had fired the bullets removed from West and Antonio.

Attorneys expect additional defense witnesses to last into the evening.



More Local

Paramount Hospitality wins 2015 Small Business Award

Paramount Hospitality won the 2015 Small Business Award from the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce. The chamber has hosted the awards cerem ... Read More


John Winters

Why we named a witness

There has been a lot of outrage and indignation over our publishing the name of a high school student who notified authorities that another ... Read More


Local gas cheaper than nat’l average

Gasoline prices in Coweta fell below the national average this week. The average price of gas in Coweta is $2.44 per gallon, compared to the ... Read More


UPDATE

Results pending in dead infant case

Authorities with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s office are still awaiting results from the Georg ... Read More


Recognition Program

Vietnam veterans can sign up at Newnan game

Vietnam veterans can sign up for a statewide program honoring them at Newnan High School’s season opener tonight. The game starts at 7 ... Read More

Male Academy to reopen with new quilt exhibit

The Male Academy Museum in Newnan is scheduled to reopen on Labor Day weekend and will feature a new exhibit for the public to view. The mus ... Read More