Mom of slain Douglas Co. teen testifies in trial

by: Carl Willis Updated:

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. - More than two years after her 18-year-old son, Bobby Tillman, was beaten to death by an angry swarm of young men in Douglas County, Monique Rivarde is still seeking justice.

Wednesday, she testified about the last words she said to her son.

"I told him to be safe, and he said 'OK, mom,'" she said.

He did not make it home after being punched, kicked and stomped so severely that the tissue around his heart was punctured by a broken rib.

Tillman did nothing to provoke the attack and did not know the people who beat him, prosecutors said.

Quantez Mallory, 20, and Horace Coleman, 21, are the last two out of four defendants standing trial for his murder.

Prosecutors rested their case after calling Rivarde and Brian Corley, Coleman's former cellmate.

"It was just sitting on my heart, and I needed to tell somebody," Corley said on the stand.

He testified that he overheard some troubling words from Coleman during a Bible study session.

"(Coleman) said he heard about his case. He talked to his lawyer today, and he felt like he was going home, and they didn't have any evidence," said Corley. "He said he didn't know that he could kill a man by kicking him."

The defense argued that much of what Corley said in court was hearsay, including his claim that he was beaten up because he intended to testify.

That exchange led to Judge William McClain rebuking the prosecutors before the jury.

Wednesday, Emanuel Boykins, who pleaded guilty and has already been convicted for Tillman's murder, took the stand.

He testified about the all-girl fight that led to the attack on Tillman.

"Instead of me putting my hands on a female, I took it out on someone else," he said.

Boykins said he never saw the defendants hit the victim.

"Have you been consistent with that?" asked a defense attorney. "Have you ever told anybody that he was involved?"

"No, ma'am," Boykins answered.

Several other witnesses, most of them friends of one or both of the defendants, said the same, including Darian Fluellen.

He said he was just 7 feet away when the attack happened but couldn't see the defendants kicking or stomping Tillman.

Tuesday, a witness to the beating went back on part of the statement he gave to investigators.

Witness James Evans, 19, spent most of his time on the stand recanting statements that he made under oath in a previous trial.

"I recognized Quantez, but I didn't physically see them beating Bobby Tillman," Evans testified. "I assumed that's what happened from what people told me."

Prosecutors then played Evans' videotaped statement, recorded hours after the fatal attack.

An investigator asked: "What was Quantez doing?"

"He was kicking the boy," Evans answered.

Still, Evans stuck to his story that he never saw Quantez Mallory attack Tillman.

He said he felt pressured by investigators to give his statement but said no one told him what to say.

A prosecutor asked if his testimony was that he lied in his original statement.

"I didn't have any idea that they were going to try to use me later on," said Evans. "If they would have asked me after if I could swear on it, I would  have said, 'No."

Prosecutors then played a video of Mallory's interview with Douglasville Police Department Detective Doug Oliver.

Mallory described 128-pound Tillman being swarmed and kicked "like a soccer ball" but claimed he only jumped on top of a car to watch and didn't take part.

At the end of the video, Oliver asks him: "What do you think about people jumping on people at parties?"

"Cowards," said Mallory. "Can't fight him one-on-one."

The jury is expected to get the case on Thursday.


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