De’Marquise Elkins, 18, is accused of fatally shooting 13-month-old Antonio Santiago in the face as the little boy sat in his stroller on a Brunswick sidewalk. Elkins also is accused of shooting the baby’s mother, Sherry West, in the leg during the course of an alleged robbery attempt.
Glynn County Superior Court Judge Stephen D. Kelley has decided the trial will be moved 325 miles northward to Marietta because of the extensive pre-trial publicity about the murder, which made national headlines after it occurred March 21.
Elkins and co-defendant Dominique Lang, 15, are charged with murder, cruelty to children, attempted armed robbery and aggravated assault. Neither one is eligible for the death penalty because both were younger than 18 at the time of the murder.
Elkins’ sister, Sabrina Elkins, 19, his mother Karimah Elkins, 36, and aunt, Katrina Elkins, all are charged with trying to cover up De’Marquise’s alleged role. The sister and mother are charged with evidence tampering in connection with reportedly having tried to get rid of the .22 caliber revolver allegedly used by Elkins to murder the baby and wound its mother. In addition, Elkins’ mother and aunt are accused of having given police false alibi info in regard to De’Marquise’s whereabouts on the day in question.
The aunt and Lang will be tried separately back in Brunswick.
THE TRIAL is set to begin Aug. 19 and probably will take place in the large Ceremonial Courtroom on the second floor of the new Cobb Superior Court Building just off Marietta Square, according to Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds.
Brunswick District Attorney Jackie L. Johnson and her staff will prosecute the case before Judge Kelley, although the jury will be drawn from Cobb. The trial, including jury selection, is expected to last one to two weeks and the jury is not expected to be sequestered, according to Reynolds’ spokeswoman, Kim Isaza.
The trial will be in Cobb in an “act of reciprocity” in light of the fact that the 2007 trial of Stacey Ian Humpries for the 2003 murders of real estate agents Lori Brown and Cynthia Williams in west Cobb was moved to Glynn. Humphries was convicted and is on death row.
Costs of the Elkins trial will be billed back to Glynn County.
UNION NEWS: Marietta actor Ric Reitz is running for president of the Atlanta chapter of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, with the election next month.
Reitz played a key role in jump-starting the Georgia movie/TV production boom by lobbying the Legislature to pass tax incentive legislation in 2005 and ’08 and serves as president of the Georgia Production Partnership and on the board of the Georgia Governor’s Film Commission.
Reitz is one of the busiest character actors on the silver screen these days. He most recently appeared in “Flight” with Denzel Washington and “Broken City” with Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg, and is currently filming “The Last Days of Robin Hood” with Susan Sarandon and Kevin Kline. Also due out soon is “Last Vegas,” in which he performs alongside Robert DeNiro and Michael Douglas.
“The Georgia tax incentive plan has put us back in the Top Three in entertainment production in the nation, outside of L.A. and NYC. I intend to bring that same dogged determination to SAG-AFTRA as its president,” he says.
OPENING NIGHT is less than a month away for the Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s production of Mel Brooks’ Tony Award-winning play “The Producers” — the company’s first at the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre at the Cobb Civic Center.
The show opens Aug. 9 for a 12-night run over three weekends and will feature east Cobb native Meg Gillentine, who has starred on Broadway in Trevor Nunn’s production of “Cats”, Ann Reinking’s “Fosse” and Stephen Sondheim’s “The Frogs.” She’s also known to moviegoers from her roles in Tyler Perry’s “Madea’s Witness Protection” and the movie version of “The Producers,” which starred Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.
Directing the Lyric production will be the company’s artistic director/GM Brandt Blocker, who told Around Town this week that he’s excited about moving to the Jennie T.’s bigger stage, which is nearly twice the width of that at the Strand Theatre on Marietta Square, the company’s former home. The county-owned Jennie T. also has a bigger orchestra pit and a full “fly,” allowing for moving backdrops.
For ticket info, call (404) 377-9948 or go to www.AtlantaLyricTheatre.com.
With Atlanta-based Theater of the Stars in deep financial difficulties and unable to fulfill the terms of its lease agreement with The Fox Theatre, and with its future heavily clouded, the Atlanta Lyric in Marietta might soon be the only company left in the metro area producing professional musical theater on a regular basis, Blocker noted.
PEOPLE: No, he didn’t get in a fight. And no, none of the Mafiosos from the Colombo Family that he tailed during his FBI days in NYC tracked him to Marietta to settle old scores, says private investigator Oliver Halle of east Cobb. Rather, the deeply bruised black eye and big bandage on his forehead are the result of MOHS surgery by his dermatologist to remove a bothersome lesion, he tells Around Town. ...
The Marietta City Council has reappointed banker Ron Francis to chair the Marietta Redevelopment Corp. for another one-year term, with Terry Lee getting another term as vice chair. ...
Georgia House Speaker David Ralston has appointed state Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-east Cobb) to the four-member Joint Federal and State Funded Health Care Financing Programs Overview Committee. Cooper chairs the House Health & Human Services Committee.
EMC ALERT: This year’s annual shareholder meeting will take place at an unusual venue for the first time ever — the Cobb Fairgrounds. The Sept. 21 meeting will coincide with the 75th anniversary of the North Georgia State Fair in its Equestrian Center, says EMC board Chair Ed Crowell. Meetings typically have taken place at its headquarters or, during the controversies of the past few years, at the more spacious Piedmont Church in east Cobb.
LOOK UP AND WAVE: If you want to be in NASA’s photo archive for posterity, look toward Saturn this evening and say “Cheese” as you wave. We Earthlings are being invited to be part of the “Wave Toward Saturn” photo op courtesy of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which is now near that distant planet, Southern Polytechnic State University President Dr. Lisa Rossbacher told Around Town on Thursday.
“Saturday, starting at 5:27 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Saturn will be low in the sky near the Southeastern horizon,” said Rossbacher, who early in her career was selected as one of the first female astronauts. “Cassini will be taking a series of photos (from the other side of Saturn) over a 15-minute period, starting then.”
NASA has requested that people from around the world go outside and wave toward the planet during that time frame, she said.
The unmanned Cassini will be aiming its cameras at Earth through the rings of Saturn, and from its point of view the body of planet will eclipse the sun, thereby backlighting Saturn’s famous rings.
Cassini will be able to see Cobb, but we in Cobb won’t be able to spot Cassini since it will still be broad daylight here.
You’ll need a whopper of a magnifying glass to pick yourself out in the resulting photo, since according to NASA, the Earth will appear only as a tiny blue speck from Cassini. But how often have you ever had your photo taken from 898 million miles away?
It will be only the third time the Earth has been photographed from the outer Solar System, first in 1990 by Voyager 1 and most recently in 2006 by Cassini.
“You won’t actually be able to see this when it happens, but it’s pretty cool to know about it,” said Rossbacher.