Trial begins for one of Bobby Tillman's accused killers

8:48 AM, Aug 30, 2012   |    comments
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DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. -- Opening statements began Wednesday afternoon for one of the men accused of beating Bobby Tillman to death outside a Douglasville house party nearly two years ago.

"I'm not guilty," Tracen Franklin, who is now 20, told 11Alive's Kevin Rowson from jail after his arrest. He and three others accused in the November 2010 beating were all teens at the time.

VIDEO | Franklin's jailhouse interview

Emanuel Boykins has already pleaded guilty to murder to avoid facing the death penalty. Boykins was believed to have instigated the random, unprovoked attack and thrown the first punch, according to Douglas County District Attorney David McDade.

Tillman, who was 18, died of a punctured heart.

Earlier in August, Tillman's mother Monique Rivarde told 11Alive's Jon Shirek: "I miss my son with everything in me, and I hate what happened to him. He didn't deserve it. He had a bright future, and he was a good, good person. And I just want justice. So if Mr. Franklin is found guilty, then I want justice."

Franklin faces the death penalty if he's convicted.

The two other suspects, 19-year-old Quantez Devante Mallory and 20-year-old Horace Damon Coleman, do not face the death penalty.

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