Jury selection continues in the case of a former high school football standout on trial for murder.
Prosecutors and the defense attorney have the daunting task of finding 12 jurors who haven't already come to a conclusion in the 2010 killing of Douglas County teenager Bobby Tillman, 18.
Tracen Franklin was 19 years old the night he and three others allegedly beat Tillman to death. Franklin's trial is first. If convicted, he could get the death penalty.
Tillman was beaten to death outside of a house party Nov. 5, 2010. The mob-style beating death drew national attention and outrage.
The victim's mother, Monique Rivarde, still struggles to make sense of it all.
"You go through every day trying to understand and rationalize," said Rivarde. "There is no rationalization, there's no rhyme or reason for it."
Rivarde feels confident in the jury selection process, which started Monday.
"There are fair people. The justice system is fair," said Rivarde. "It's suppose to give the defendants just as much rights as Bobby. I think people believe in that."
She also believes young people can learn something from her son's tragic and senseless death.
"That you can't get away with things like that. And it's not the answer. Violence is not the answer," said Rivarde.
Douglas County District Attorney David McDade said Emmanuel Boykins, who took a plea deal, threw the first punch at the smaller Tillman, knocking him to the ground. Once on the ground, the others allegedly joined in.
Boykins accepted a plea deal and entered a guilt plea in April to avoid the death penalty. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Franklin had a similar offer on the table, but he did not accept it.
Quantez Devante Mallory, 19, and Horace Damon Coleman, 20, were also charged in the killing, but the prosecutor is not seeking the death penalty in their cases.
Mallory and Coleman are in jail awaiting trial.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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