BRUNSWICK, Ga. - The family of the 15-year-old suspect being held in the shooting death of an infant is outraged. The suspect's grandmother called First Coast News Monday morning saying that her 15-year-old grandson is also a victim and should not be in custody.
The 15-year-old suspect went before a judge Monday morning while his mother and grandmother sat outside the courtroom. First Coast News spoke to his grandmother again in Brunswick, after the 15-year-old suspect's hearing. She claims the family is not being informed where the 15-year-old is being held or what is next for the teen.
"He a baby, but he's not a baby killer...so they need to get that straight, he's not a baby killer," the grandmother said.
The grandmother added that her family feels bad for the victim and her family, but that the 15-year-old suspect is being held simply on guilt by association.
"This is a botched up investigation. I don't see how the police sleep, the detectives sleep. They know my grandson's innocent."
The grandmother further explained that the 15-year-old was simply outside in his yard when 17-year-old De'Marquise Elkins allegedly approached and forced him at gun point to go on a journey that would end in the shooting death of the 13-month-old.
According to the Florida Times Union, the 15-year-old is currently being held at the state Regional Youth Detention Center in Savannah.
The suspect's mother also spoke to First Coast News, but asked that she not be identified.
The juvenile is awaiting a bond hearing, which a Glynn County magistrate is ordering.
The state also has 30 days to indict the teen on formal murder charges. Right now, he is being held on arrest charges of first degree murder after being taken into custody last week.
A preliminary hearing will also have to be held for the state to present evidence to meet its burden of proof.
The case remains in juvenile court for now, but has the potential to be relocated so the teen is charged as an adult.
Police say he and Elkins are to blame for the shooting death of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago last Thursday morning.
Santiago, according to authorities, was in a stroller pushed by his mom, Sherry West, when the shooting happened.
Elkins' first court appearance for the murder is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Glynn County.
First Coast News