by: Ross Cavitt Updated:
COBB COUNTY, Ga. - The defense rested its case in the Brunswick baby murder trial Thursday night.
Jurors will hear closing arguments on Friday.
The defendants, De'Marquise Elkins, mother, Karima Elkins, told Judge Steven Kelley they did not want to testify. De'Marquise Elkins is charged with murder, accused of shooting 13-month-old Antonio Santiago in the head while trying to rob his mother, Sherry West. Karima Elkins is charged with disposing of the evidence. Testimony ended shortly after defense lawyer Kevin Gough grilled the baby's father on the stand.
Louis Santiago said he was shopping to buy food and snacks for his son when he learned of the shooting, but he did admit he was only a half-block away from the murder.
Santiago said he learned about the shooting from a phone call and rushed to the hospital to find out what happened and to comfort West.
He said he held his wife and asked where their baby was.
The defense planned to continue its case through Friday, but the Judge cut them short, ruling Santiago's former wives and girlfriends would not be allowed to testify.
Two women said they wanted to tell jurors
They claim Santiago was addicted to drugs and booze and was often violent, especially when the women were pregnant.
Defense lawyers presented experts who claimed Sherry West's identification of De'Marquise Elkins was the result of flawed lineups and coaching by detectives. They played a long video of West in the police interrogation room, where she bounced from extreme sadness to anger and even launched into an expletive-laden tirade when sitting alone. Closing arguments are expected to take the entire morning, and the Cobb County jury could start deliberating by midafternoon.