Defense calling witnesses in Brunswick baby shooting trial

6:54 PM, Aug 28, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Mother of slain baby takes stand in emotional trial

  • Ashley Glassey, estranged daughter of Sherry West
  • Murder victim, Antonio Santiago, 13 months
  • Victim's mother, Sherry West

MARIETTA, Ga. -- The prosecution has rested its case on the eighth day of the Brunswick baby murder trial.

COMPLETE COVERAGE | Brunswick baby shooting
PHOTOS | Baby shooting trial

Sherry West, mother of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago, took the witness stand briefly Wednesday after a brutal four hours of cross-examination Tuesday afternoon. She only answered a handful of questions from the defense.

Judge Stephen Kelley put limits on a defense attempt to get West to admit that she's a drug user, has traded sex for drugs and abused her older children a few years ago.

They tried to suggest she was a bad mother and may have had something to do with her toddler's murder.

Judge Kelley ruled that even though cross-examination may continue, the defense could not pursue those past issues.

The defense continued to argue it could mean she was using drugs and possibly not in her right mind when her young son was murdered, that the murder might have been a drug deal gone bad that she's covering up.

The judge called that mere conjecture, saying the defense has no evidence to prove that.

"Whether or not Ms. West has ever done illegal drugs, has ever had sex for drugs or ever starved her children, really has nothing to do with this case," he ruled.

Wednesday morning, West admitted that she earlier picked out a police photo of 15-year-old co-defendant Domonique Lang as her child's killer instead of 18-year-old De'Marquise Elkins, who she pointed out in the courtroom Tuesday.

As their first witness, the defense called Sherry West's estranged 21-year-old daughter, who lives in New Jersey.

Crying during most of her testimony, Ashley Glassey confirmed defense questions about whether her mother had a history of mental illness and a faulty memory.

She also said she called Brunswick police after her mother gave her two different versions of how the shooting happened.

"Some things that she said to me just didn't add up and I was very in the dark about the whole situation," Glassey testified.

She said when police never called her back she took her concerns to the news media and her mother called her, angrily telling her not to talk to anyone until the trial was over.

Glassey also said her mother called her about an insurance policy on the toddler only hours after the murder.

"She asked me how long I thought it would take to get the life insurance policy, for the check to come," the daughter said.

During her testimony Tuesday, Sherry West said she needed the $5,000 insurance policy payoff for her young son's funeral and other expenses.

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