Douglasville, Ga (WAOK/AJC)-Tracen Franklin has been sentenced to life in prison for his part in the death of Bobby Tillman. Franklin was one of four men charged in the death of 18 year old Tillman who was beaten and stomped to death following a party in Douglasville in November 2010.
According to the AJC, Franklin, 20, was sentenced Friday morning by Judge William McClain, who had the option of deciding whether Franklin serves life in prison or receives the possibility of parole. The jury who convicted Franklin could have sentenced him to death. But it deadlocked on his punishment, leaving the decision to McClain, who by law cannot sentence someone to death. Only a jury can sentence someone to death in Georgia.
Franklin,is the only one of the four men charged who has faced a jury in the case. Emanuel Boykins pleaded guilty in April to murder for throwing the first punch, starting the 30-second attack on Tillman. He is serving a life sentence but could be considered for parole in 30 years. Murder charges are still pending against Quantez Devonta Mallory and Horace Damon Coleman.
At the time of the crime Franklin was an 18-year-old student at Alabama State University.
Monique Rivarde the mother of Bobby Tillman told reporters she appreciated the work of the prosecutors in the case because they “treated Bobby like he was a person and not someone who is deceased.”
Bobby Tillman died when he was beaten and kicked by the four in an unprovoked attack. The medical examiner said Tillman died when his heart was pierced by a bone during the attack.