BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A city official charged with interfering with the police investigation of a baby’s slaying in coastal Georgia made a mistake when he tried to help a teen suspect’s mother but believes he committed no crimes, his defense attorney said Friday.
The arrest of Brunswick city commissioner James Henry Brooks added another wrinkle to a case that was already tough to fathom. Authorities say a teenage gunman and his younger accomplice on March 21 tried to rob a woman pushing her 13-month-old baby in a stroller near their home. When Sherry West refused to give them money, police say, the gunman shot her in the leg before shooting her child in the face.
Brooks, who serves as mayor pro tem on the four-member city commission, was arrested Thursday on charges of obstructing a police officer and interfering with a witness. Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering did not immediately return calls seeking comment Friday and his administrative assistant said the chief planned to make no statements.
Brooks attorney Alan David Tucker told The Associated Press both charges stemmed from a single encounter Monday. Brooks had attended a court hearing for 17-year-old De’Marquise Elkins, the murder suspect accused of shooting the baby, and was accompanying the teen’s mother.
When a police officer tried to talk to Karimah Elkins after the hearing, Brooks stepped in between them, Tucker said.
“He told her, ‘Don’t make any statements until you have an attorney,'” Tucker said. “That’s what he did. I tell clients all the time don’t talk to the police without a lawyer and it’s not a crime.”
After Brooks spent the night in jail, a judge granted him $5,000 bond Friday.
Elkins’ family rushed to the suspect after he and another teen, 15-year-old Dominique Lang, were charged the day after the slaying. Elkins’ aunt insisted he was having breakfast at her house when the shooting occurred.
Tucker said the commissioner at first believed the family that police were rushing to prosecute Elkins and wanted to help. That was before the mom and De’Marquise Elkins‘ older sister, Sabrina Elkins, were charged with evidence tampering. Prosecutors say they tried to dispose of a .22-caliber revolver, which police suspect was used to shoot the baby, by dumping it in a saltwater pond where investigators found the weapon.
Elkins’ mother and his aunt, Katrina Elkins, have also been charged with making false statements to police. Prosecutors say the women gave false — and conflicting — alibis for the suspect.
“They’re constituents of Commissioner Brooks’ and he went to bat for them” before the women were charged, Tucker said. “Unfortunately he picked the wrong ones to go to bat for.”
The commissioner has other legal problems that aren’t connected to the baby killing. Also Thursday a grand jury in neighboring Camden County indicted Brooks on racketeering and other charges saying he abused his elected office by getting applicants for police jobs, liquor licenses and permits to pay him in exchange for his help influencing other officials. Tucker said Brooks did nothing illegal.
Attorneys for De’Marquise Elkins and Lang say have both said their clients are innocent.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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