Suspects in Teen Beating Death Talk, DA Responds | News
DOUGLASVILLE, GA -- Teenage friends of Bobby Tillman are struggling to understand why he was killed. The Douglas County teen was brutally beaten to death at a party over the weekend.
Three of four of the suspects charged with his murder did jailhouse interviews with 11Alive News and were unable to shed any light on why it happened.
In separate interviews, the three suspects said they didn't do it. A fourth suspect, Quantez Mallory, age 18, refused to be interviewed.
Tracen Franklin, age 18, simply made this brief statement: "I'm not guilty of murder."
Horace Coleman, age 19, he didn't have anything to do with the beating. "I didn't have nothing to do with nothing," he said. "I didn't kick nobody, I didn't even get near him."
Coleman said he saw two people beating Bobbie Tillman, but he never went over and he never tried to break it up. "You know a lot of people are trying to put stuff on me when I don't have nothing to do with that," he said.
Emanuel Boykins, age 18, offered sympathy to Tillman's family. "First of all, I'd like to send my deepest condolences to Bobby and his family," he said.
None of the suspects knew Tillman until they were accused of beating him to death Saturday night after a party broke up in Douglasville. Witnesses said Boykins told them he was going to hit the first person who walked by. That happened to be Tillman. According to the witnesses, Boykins walked across the street and assaulted Tillman before three others joined in on the beating.
"A lot of people was like peer pressured to say me and Horace Coleman did it, but I promise you, me and Horace Coleman did not jump in," Boykins said. "I was trying to pull the dude off of Bobby, and as I was trying to pull the dude off of Bobby, he was getting his kicks in."
An autopsy showed that Tillman died from a punctured heart. Tillman was stomped on with enough force to shatter a bone and drive it into his heart.
Boykins tried to explain why witnesses would point the finger at him. "I kind of was a popular guy at the party," he said. "I have been in fights before, but I really can't honestly tell you why."
Both Boykins and Coleman say they know who beat Bobby Tillman, but neither would name names.
Wednesday afternoon, 11Alive's Jill Becker spoke with Douglas County District Attorney David McDade and played him the jailhouse interviews with the three suspects.
Of each of them, McDade said that evidence would show that the four men were directly involved in the murder.
"The evidence is that young Bobby Tillman was beaten to death," McDade said. "He was struck numerous times, so anyone who participated in striking him is responsible for his murder. I think we're going to have sufficient evidence showing that all four of these young men were involved in striking him, so they're all equally responsible."
He also said that there may be others that may be tied to the beating.
"The information is that there might be others involved," McDade said. "We're going to examine that. We don't know for certain if there are, but we're going to chase those leads down and determine if there are others involved."
McDade did not rule out the death penalty in the case.
"Their age will not prevent us from seeking the death penalty - if that's the decision we reach," he said. "They're eligible."