Posted: 5:29 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012

Witness describes savage attack that killed Bobby Tillman

Bobby Tillman death
The medical examiner said the beating was so severe, it tore a hole in Tillman's heart.

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Bobby Tillman death photo
Tracen Franklin is on trial in Tillman's slaying. Douglas County prosecutors said he was one of the four men who participated in the attack.
Bobby Tillman death photo
One of the teenaged girls who threw the fateful house party where Bobby Tillman was beaten to death testified about witnessing the savage attack.
Bobby Tillman death photo
Dash cam video showed arriving deputies and EMT's doing CPR, but doctors pronounced Tillman dead at the hospital.

DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. —

One of the teenaged girls who threw the fateful house party where Bobby Tillman was beaten to death testified about witnessing the savage attack.

Tracen Franklin is on trial in Tillman's slaying. Douglas County prosecutors said he was one of the four men who participated in the attack.

"I seen them him punch Bobby in the face," Alexis Thompson testified. "That was the first thing I seen. Then I saw more of them coming and doing the same thing. They kept hitting him and punching him and kicking him, beating him. They was beating him like he'd just killed somebody's mom or something."

But prosecutors said Tillman hadn't done anything to provoke the attack.

Alexis and her sister, Ariana Thompson, both testified that the party was supposed to have been a quiet affair for 20 of their closest friends. Ariana invited Tillman because she said she had a crush on him.

But prosecutors said word of the party grew until it became too big to control. Adult chaperones called 911 twice trying to get help breaking it up.

At one point, witnesses testified that several groups of girls started fighting.

One girl, according to Assistant District Attorney Bonnie Smith, hit one of the Tracen Franklin's friends. That friend didn't want to retaliate against a girl, so the four of them decided to "pop" the first male they saw. It was Bobby Tillman.

The medical examiner said the beating was so severe, it tore a hole in Tillman's heart.

Alexis Thompson testified about how she helped Tillman to his feet, but he collapsed moments later.

"I tried to get him. I was, like, 'Bobby!'" said Thompson. "He started shaking. I didn't know what to do."

Dash cam video showed arriving deputies and EMT's doing CPR, but doctors pronounced Tillman dead at the hospital.

Testimony in the death penalty case is scheduled to resume Friday morning. The other four suspects either pleaded guilty or announced their intention to plead guilty before the trial started.

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