“He aimed that gun right between that baby’s eyes and shot that baby,” District Attorney Jackie Johnson said. “I don’t know of a more inhumane act or wantonly vile act … than to aim a gun at a sleeping baby in a stroller and take that baby’s life.”
At trial, prosecutors had said West was pushing her son in his stroller home that March day from a post office when two teenagers approached her, blocks from her apartment.
Dominique Lang, 15, testified at trial he was with Elkins when the older teen pulled a gun and demanded West’s purse. When she refused, Lang said, Elkins twice threatened her baby and counted down from five.
West testified she pleaded with Elkins that she had no money and tried to cover her child with her arms as the gunman fired a warning shot, a bullet into her leg and then shot the baby.
West left the courthouse Thursday without comment after sentencing. On the witness stand, she told the judge he deserved “a life in prison.”
“The love of my life was taken away, far away,” West said. “All I can do is cry and wonder when I’m going to die.”
Police recovered a .22-caliber revolver from a pond, and prosecutors said it matched the gun used in the killing.
Lang also faces murder charges. No trial date has been set and it’s unknown how his cooperation in the Elkins prosecution might affect his case.
Elkins’ mother, Karimah Elkins, stood trial alongside him and was convicted of evidence tampering for helping dispose of the gun. Elkins’ sister and aunt have also been charged with trying to help him avoid prosecution.
Elkins’ never testified at his two-week trial in August. But his defense attorneys argued police rushed to build a case against Elkins without considering other possible suspects. They even suggested the slain child’s own parents may have been the real killers.