On March 21, 2013, Sherry West and her 13-month-old son were both shot. According to West’s prosecution 17-year-old De'Marquise Elkins attempted to rob her but when she responded she had no money, Elkins shot her baby between the eyes and shot her twice: one bullet in the leg and another grazed her ear. West was later found hopelessly giving CPR to
However, defense attorneys are firing back that West had a financial motive in all this. Before the incident, she took out a life insurance policy on her son. Moreover, West’s daughter reports that the night of the shooting her mother asked her, "How soon do you think life insurance policy will send me a check?" Finally, the defense argues West has a history of mental disorder and her account is inconsistent. West’s daughter corroborates that the mother suffers from bipolar disorder and exhibits schizophrenic tendencies.
Yet Elkins’ accomplice, 15-year-old Dominique Lang, testified that he saw Elkins shoot the infant and mother.
Then again, gun residue was found on Sherry West’s hands as well as her husband’s. Prosecution has argued that gunshot victims can end up with residue on their hands. Prosecution has indicted two of Elkins’ family members for covering up information and acting as accomplices to a murder.
The defense has condemned West by arguing, “evidence of record suggests Sherry West is mentally unstable, gave several inconsistent accounts of how the crime transpired, and had a financial interest in the death of her son in the form of an insurance policy," according to public defender Kevin Gough on August 5.
Prosecution has alleged these claims are, “false, inflammatory and misleading.”
Since Elkins was a minor at the time of the shooting, if convicted he will avoid the death penalty but could face life in prison.
Jury selection for the trial begins today.