18-year-old murder victim Bobby Tillman, brutally beaten and stomped to death at 2010 teen party
Tracen Franklin cries while asking mercy at his sentencing for 2010 murder of Bobby Tillman
Monique Rivarde, mother of murder victim Bobby Tillman
Douglas County Superior Court Judge William "Beau" McClain
Douglas County District Attorney David McDade comforts Bobby Tillman's mother, Monique Rivarde
Bobby Tillman and his mother, Monique Rivarde
DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. - Tracen Franklin, 20, was sentenced Friday to life without parole for the beating death of 18-year-old Bobby Tillman at a Douglasville house party in November 2010.
Franklin was considered the ringleader of the group that stomped Tillman to death, and according to prosecutors was the one who delivered most of the blows.
Tillman was an innocent victim, who just happened to be walking by the party.
In court, Franklin spoke to the family of Tillman and Douglas County Judge Beau McClain in barely audible, halting tones as he apologized for what he had done.
"I hope you accept me as a young man who makes mistakes and who can and will accept the consequences," Franklin said.
Tillman's mother, Monique Revarde said her son was taken from her for no reason.
"Bobby was a gift from God," she said. "And was snatched from me and my family for nothing."
After convicting Franklin of murder, a jury deadlocked last week on the death penalty.
On Friday his defense asked for mercy in the form of a life sentence with the chance of parole.
Prosecutors and Tillman's family asked Judge McClain to put Franklin behind bars for the rest of his life, which the judge did.
Of the four defendants in the murder, Franklin was the only one who faced a possible death penalty.
One other has already been given a life with parole sentence after pleading guilty.
Two others have yet to be tried.