BRUNSWICK, G.A.--The lawyer for a suspect in the shooting death of a Georgia baby who was killed in his stroller says his client is "absolutely" not guilty.
"My client is absolutely, 1,000 percent not guilty," public defender Kevin Gough, who represents 17-year-old De'Marquise Elkins, told The Associated Press. He made the comments Monday, while preparing for Elkins' first court appearance on a murder charge. It was scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday.
Elkins is charged as an adult with first-degree murder, along with a 14-year-old who was not identified because he is a juvenile, Brunswick Police Chief Tobe Green said.
The14-year-old appeared in court Monday morning in the death of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago in Brunswick.
The baby's mother, Sherry West, said she was walking home Thursday morning when the two confronted her and one of them opened fire.
"He asked me for money and I said I didn't have it," West said.
"When you have a baby you spend all your money on babies. They're expensive. And he kept asking and I just said 'I don't have it.' And he said, 'Do you want me to kill your baby?' and I said, 'No, don't kill my baby!'"
One of the teens allegedly fired four shots, grazing West's ear and striking her in the leg, before he walked around to the stroller and shot the baby in the face.
West said detectives showed her mugshots of about 24 young men. She pointed to one, saying he looked like the gunman. "After I picked him, they said they had in him custody," West said.
West said she thought the 14-year-old looked much younger.
"That little boy did not look 14," West said.
At Monday morning's hearing, the 14-year-old came into the courtroom shackled and wearing a baggy orange jumpsuit, The Florida Times-Union reported.
He glanced at the few members of the media allowed into the courtroom for the initial appearance as he shuffled to a lectern facing Glynn County Magistrate Tim Barton.
The magistrate told the boy he can't set a bond since only Superior Court judges can do so in murder cases.
"I'm going to see that you get a lawyer immediately," Barton told the boy.
The 14-year-old was in the eighth grade at Glynn Middle School before his arrest, said Jim Weidhaas, a spokesman for the Glynn County school system.
Elkins was a student in the system in October 2011 when he left Ombudsman, an outsourced alternative school program, Weidhaas said.
Gough said he has demanded a bond hearing and filed a request for a speedy trial for Elkins.
"We look forward to our day in court," he said.
Police say the motive of the "horrendous act" is still under investigation and the weapon had not been found.
Neighbors made frantic calls to 911, some weeping and pleading for help. Police released recordings Saturday of three 911 calls placed right after the shooting.
One woman sobs as she says, "Somebody shot this child ... Please we need everything we can get."
Another caller tells an operator, "No, the baby's not breathing." He said the child was shot "right between the eyes."
A woman can be heard screaming in the background just before police arrive.
No callers reported witnessing the shooting.
Sabrina Elkins, the sister of the older suspect in Santiago's murder, said Friday that she believed her brother was innocent of the charges.
"He couldn't have done that to a little baby," she told AP. "My brother has a good heart."
Elkins said police came to her door Friday as her brother was approaching along the sidewalk.
"The police came pointing a Taser at him, telling him to get on the ground," she said. "He said, 'What are you getting me for? Can you tell me what I did?'"