Trial starts for man accused of stomping teen to death at party

by: Richard Elliot Updated:


DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. - Testimony began Wednesday in the capital murder trial of the man accused of stomping a Douglas County teenager to death during a house party.

Tracen Franklin is accused to taking part in the savage beating of Bobby Tillman outside a Douglas County home in November 2010. Three others young men were also charged. One has already pleaded guilty; the other two have announced their intentions to plead guilty.

Prosecutors said the incident began at a house party on Independence Drive. According to Assistant District Attorney Bonnie Smith, what was supposed to have been a small gathering of high school friends turned into a chaotic scene as dozens of teenagers crashed the party.

During that party, several girls started fighting. According to Smith, one of the girls hit Franklin's friend, Emmanuel Boykin.

Boykin, Smith said, didn't want to retaliate against a girl, so he, Franklin and the other two decided to "pop" the first male they spotted. That male, said Smith, was Tillman.

The prosecution played dash cam video from the car of the first deputy to arrive at the scene. It showed teens running away from the party. It also showed deputies and, later, EMT's doing CPR in an attempt to save Tillman's life.

Tillman was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The Medical Examiner later determined the savage beating tore a hole in Tillman's heart.

Frankin's attorney, Bruce Harvey, did not deny his client's involvement in the beating. But he will try and convince jurors it was not premeditated or planned in any way in an attempt to keep Franklin off of Death Row.

Testimony will continue Thursday.