Man sentenced to life without parole in stomping death of teen - FOX 13 News

Man sentenced to life without parole in stomping death of teen

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Tracen Franklin waits to hear his sentence for his role in the stomping death of Bobby Tillman. Tracen Franklin waits to hear his sentence for his role in the stomping death of Bobby Tillman.
Bobby Tillman Bobby Tillman
DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. -

A Douglas County judge has sentenced Tracen Franklin to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the beating death of a teen during a house party.

The 20-year-old man was convicted earlier this month in the 2010 stomping death of Bobby Tillman at a Douglasville party.

Tillman didn't know his attacker and was standing among friends when four young men lashed out against him. Prosecutors said that Franklin inflicted the most serious injuries, stomping until Tillman's heart tore open.

Franklin later told authorities that he was frustrated that night about his status on his high school football team.

A hung jury was declared last Friday after deliberating for four days on the issue of if Franklin should face the death penalty for the murder. This left the judge the options to sentence him to life in prison with or without parole.

On Friday, Franklin asked for mercy.

"I hope you accept me as a young man who makes mistakes and can and will accept the consequences," Franklin said.

Tillman's mother, Monique Rivarde, said the apology was both long overdue and too late.

"During the trial and everything, you know, him rocking in his chair, and bopping to music in his head, and looking back at us and smiling -- I didn't see remorse so the statement didn't really mean anything to me," said Rivarde.

The judge brushed aside Franklin's plea that he had made a mistake and sentenced him to life without parole.

Franklin's family declined to talk with reporters. His lawyer says he hopes the sentence will finally bring some healing to the Tillman family and Douglas County.

Franklin is one of four charged in Tillman's murder. One person has already pleaded guilty and is serving life with parole. Two others still face charges.

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