The trial of a teenager accused of shooting a 13-month-old boy between the eyes as the baby sat in a stroller took a bizarre turn yesterday when the adult sister of the slain child testified that her mother called her on the night of the murder to ask when she could expect a life insurance check.
“The whole conversation didn’t settle well with me,” said Ashley Glassey, 22, who was set free from a New Jersey jail where she was serving time for shoplifting so she could testify for the defense in the highly publicized trial.
Glassey (pictured) has been estranged from her mother, Sherry West, since age 8. But she said that because she recently handled the affairs of her deceased grandfather, her mother knew she had some knowledge of insurance practices.
When she asked to come to the funeral of her infant brother, West would not allow it, Glassey said.
De’Marquise Elkins, 18, is on trial for the murder of the baby, Antonio Santiago, in Brunswick, Ga., this past March. He allegedly shot West in the leg as well during a robbery attempt. The trial has received national media attention, including on Opposing Views.
Glassey said the conversation with her mother left her feeling so uneasy she called police to tell them about it, but investigators never got back to her.
“I felt like I got blown off,” she said. She also testified that her mother was furious when she found out that Glassey told the press about the phone call.
“She was very mad at me,” Glassey said. “That’s the last time we talked.”
West testified earlier this week that she took out a $5,000 life insurance policy on the baby because it had been ill shortly after birth. The policy, from Gerber Life Insurance Co., charged a premium of $3.18 per month.
West said she used part of the payout to cover Antonio’s funeral and the rest for her own moving expenses.
The dead child’s father, Louis Santiago, is expected to be called as a defense witness today.
SOURCES: First Coast News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Augusta Chronicle, Daily Mail