POSTED: Monday, March 25, 2013 - 6:31pm
UPDATED: Monday, March 25, 2013 - 6:32pm
BRUNSWICK, GA — A teenager suspected in the shooting of a baby in this coastal city appeared Monday in court, where a judge told him he will be charged with murder.
Wearing an orange jumpsuit, his hands and feet shackled, the 15-year-old listened as Glynn County Judge Timothy Barton read his Miranda rights. Previously, the boy's age was reported as 14.
Barton didn't indicate whether the teen would be charged as a juvenile or adult, and the teen did not enter a plea. His name is not being released because of his age.
Asked if the teen had any questions, he told the judge, "no sir."
The teen's mother, Brenda Moses, told CNN earlier that her son was "just a witness," and "he didn't do anything wrong."
"My feelings go out to the mother, and the baby and my baby," Moses said.
The 15-year-old and a 17-year-old identified by authorities as De'Marquise Elkins are facing murder charges in a case that has made national headlines.
Elkins appeared in court later Monday. The judge asked him if he wanted to plead, but the teenager declined.
Elkins was in regular clothes, but his hands and feet were handcuffed and he wore a belt shackle. His attorney, Jonathan Lockwood, spoke for him during the court appearance.
When he first arrived in the courtroom, the teen turned to his mother, Karimah Elkins, and nodded.
At the end of the court appearance, she said, "I love you, Marquise."
She would not speak with reporters.
'Don't kill my baby'
On Thursday, the slain infant's mother, Sherry West, told police that she was pushing her son in a stroller during the day when two males approached her.
"A boy approached me and told me he wanted my money, and I told him I didn't have any money. And he said, 'Give me your money or I'm going to kill you and I'm going to shoot your baby and kill your baby,' and I said, 'I don't have any money,' and 'Don't kill my baby,' " she told reporters.
One boy tried to grab her purse and opened fire when she tried to tell him she had no money, West said, with the shot grazing her head. She said the boy then shot her in the leg.
West continued, "And then, all of a sudden, he walked over and he shot my baby in the face."
West said that she tried to perform CPR on her son and that police took over when they arrived. "We lost him," she said.
This isn't the first time West has lost a son to violence, she said Saturday.
Her 18-year-old son was stabbed to death in 2008 in New Jersey, she told CNN.
"This is the second child that people have taken from me in a tragic way," West said. "I'm so afraid to have any more babies now. I tried to raise really good kids in a wicked world."
The day after two teenage boys were arrested and charged in the fatal shooting of her baby, West said she was planning to leave Brunswick and return to New Jersey.
'You killed an innocent human life'
The boy's father has also been distraught, West said.
Asked about the person who shot her son, Antonio, West stated: "I hate you, and I don't forgive you.
"You killed an innocent human life," she said. "I hope you die for it."
A private memorial service was held Friday morning for the baby, who was cremated, according to West. She said the family is working with the Catholic relief organization Society of St. Vincent de Paul to help with unforeseen expenses.
West said she put Antonio in a stroller Thursday because it was good exercise for her heart, adding that she was disabled from a car accident.
"I just took a walk with my baby," she said. "I can't believe that this would happen, and I left early in the morning. I thought, you know, that there would be less people on the road and I wouldn't be in anybody's way walking down that road.
"Apparently, either he targeted me, or I was just unfortunate," she said.
As of Saturday, authorities had not found the murder weapon, police spokesman Todd Rhodes said.
But they were able to track down the two suspects and take them into custody, aided by a description from West and others, as well as a check of school attendance records to determine who was not in class Thursday.
911 calls reveal witnesses' horror
Earlier Saturday, police in the coastal city released to CNN three recordings of 911 calls about Thursday's shooting.
"A baby has been shot!" one woman said in a 911 call.
The exchange with the emergency operator was emotionally charged.
"Listen to me, ma'am! Is the baby breathing?" the operator replied.
"I don't know," the woman said.
The woman began to cry.
In the background, there was wailing on the corner of London and Ellis streets, in a stately cluster of Victorian-style houses with wraparound porches.
"Listen to me!" the operator said to the weeping woman. "We have people en route. Did you hear shots in the area?"
Yes, she heard shots, she said.
"Be calm," the operator said. "How many shots did you hear?"
"I heard like three shots. And the baby has been shot in the head," the woman said.
The woman was so distraught that she passed her cell phone to a man walking his dog.
"No, the baby is not breathing," the man told the operator.
"The baby was shot in the head?" the operator continued.
"Yes, right between the eyes," the man said, adding that he earlier heard a "small-caliber clap."
As he spoke, sirens wailed as police arrived on the scene, and the man broke off the phone call.