Witness recants statements in Tillman trial

by: Carl Willis Updated:

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. - A witness to the beating death of Douglas County teenager Bobby Tillman went back on part of the statement he gave to investigators during testimony on Tuesday.

Tillman was 18 years old when he was punched, kicked and stomped to death outside of a house party in 2010.

Co-defendants Quantez Mallory, 20, and Horace Coleman, 21, returned to court Tuesday, the last two out of four men standing trial for the murder.

Witness James Evans, 19, spent most of time on the stand Tuesday 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 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 Det. Doug Oliver with Douglasville Police Department.

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."

Mallory and Coleman entered not guilty pleas.

Tillman's mother was in court and visibly shaken. She declined to comment on the day's testimony.

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