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Police charge kin of alleged shooter of baby with lying

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The mother and aunt of a teenage suspect in the fatal shooting of a baby in his stroller have been arrested on charges that they lied to authorities, police said Tuesday.

After their arrests, both women gave police new information that helped lead investigators to a small pond where they found a handgun, Glynn County police Chief Matt Doering said. He said the gun was being tested to determine whether it could be matched to the slaying last week of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago.

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The new arrests targeted relatives of 17-year-old De’Marquise Elkins, who is jailed on murder charges. The slain child’s mother, Sherry West, said she was pushing her baby in his stroller Thursday near their home in Brunswick, 80 miles south of Savannah, when a gunman shot the child in the face and wounded her after she refused to give money to him and a younger accomplice.

Elkins’s mother, 36-year-old Karimah Elkins, and his aunt, 33-year-old Katrina Elkins, were booked Tuesday morning at the Glynn County jail on charges of making false statements to police, a misdemeanor. Jail records show both women were released after posting bond.

Doering would not say what false statements either woman made. The slaying suspect’s aunt said after his arrest that her nephew could not be the killer because he was at her house for breakfast Thursday morning and then ran errands with her family when the baby and his mother were shot.

West, the baby’s mother, has said she and her son were walking home from the post office when they were approached by two youths asking for money. She said she told them she had none, and an older teenager drew a handgun and asked her: ‘‘Do you want me to shoot your baby?’’

She said the gunman shot her in the leg, and another bullet grazed her left ear, before he shot her baby in the face.

West identified De’Marquise Elkins as the shooter when police showed her a photo lineup of 24 faces, she said.

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