Georgia Official Charged With Obstruction in Stroller Shooting Death

PHOTO: Brunswick City Commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem James T. Brooks was arrested on March 28, 2013 on charges of wilfull obstruction of law enforcement and influence of witness in connection to the death of a toddler in Glynn County, Ga.
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The probe into the murder of a Georgia infant in his stroller has taken a strange twist when a city commissioner was arrested for allegedly obstructing the investigation.

Brunswick City Commissioner James H. Brooks Sr. was arrested Thursday on charges of obstructing law enforcement and influencing a witness in the case, authorities said. The charges stem from Brooks' alleged attempt to prevent investigators from talking to the shooting suspect's mother.

The suspect's mother -- along with the suspect's sister and aunt -- have also been arrested in connection with the shooting death of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago in Brunswick, Ga.

WHAT TO KNOW
  • Brunswick city commissioner James Brooks Sr. has been arrested for obstruction and influencing a witness in the case of slain 13-month-old Antonio Santiago.

Little Antonio was killed March 21 when De'Marquise Elkins, 17, and a 15-year-old boy tried to rob Sherry West, court documents state. When West, 41, said she didn't have any money, one of the boys shot her baby, according to the charges.

Allan David Tucker, Brooks' attorney, told ABC News affiliate WTLV that his client was arrested for not allowing a county investigator to speak with Elkins' mother during a court appearance.

He was being held Thursday night on $1,256 bond for obstruction. For the charges of influencing a witness, he is being held without bond.

Brooks was also charged with racketeering Thursday in an unrelated case stemming from accusations that he accepted money in return for applicants getting police jobs, licenses and permits in Camden County.

Brooks' arrest is the latest in a series of twists in the case as authorities press their investigation into the death of Antonio Santiago.

Elkins was indicted Wednesday in Glynn County for the boy's murder. Elkins' mother, Karimah Elkins, 36, and aunt, Katrina Elkins, 33, were arrested Tuesday for allegedly making false statements to police. Elkins' mother was arrested again Wednesday along with Elkins' sister, Sabrina Elkins, 19, and charged with tampering with evidence.

Brunswick police said that information led them to a "pond/marsh" 2.3 miles from the shooting location where a handgun was found under water. Elkins' mother and sister are accused of having placed the revolver that police suspect was used in the shooting into the pond.

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