Testimony is scheduled to resume Thursday in the murder trial of a young man accused of beating a teenager to death in Douglas County.
Tracen Franklin was 19 years old on Nov. 6, 2010, the night he and three others crashed a high school house party where prosecutors say they fatally beat and stomped Bobby Tillman, 18.
On Wednesday, Franklin, a former high school football stand-out, walked into the courtroom expressionless. Later, jurors heard opening statements from both sides.
"It is those personal individual choices and actions that have him charged in this case," said Douglas County Assistant District Attorney Bonnie Smith. "The defendant made the personal choice to stomp (Tillman) with such force and to beat him with such force that it caused internal injuries, the likes of which the medical examiner has rarely seen in his career."
Smith said the evidence will show that Tillman was beaten and stomped so violently that the blows pierced his heart.
Franklin is the only defendant facing the death penalty. Prosecutors said he confessed to taking part in the beating.
Franklin's attorney Bruce Harvey told jurors that his client was a good kid who should be found not guilty.
"Tracen Franklin didn't instigate anything," said Harvey. "Tracen Franklin wasn't involved in anything."
The beating happened as party-goers were leaving the house party, which the parents of two teenage girls had thrown to celebrate their daughters' good grades. Tillman was an invited guest. Franklin, then a freshman at Alabama State University, had not been invited, according to prosecutors.
Witnesses told detectives that as parents asked people to leave, a fight broke out between two girls. One of the uninvited guests, Emanuel Boykins, apparently was hit in the brawl. Witnesses said he then made a comment that since he doesn't hit girls, he would hit the next male he saw.
Prosecutors said Boykins threw the first punch at Tillman as he sat on the trunk of a friend's car.
Earlier this year, Boykins accepted a plea deal. A judge sentenced him to life in prison.
In court, Franklin's attorney told jurors, "Tracen Franklin didn't say, 'I'm going to pop off on the next person I see.' It was Emanuel Boykins who ran up to Bobby Tillman and hit him."
Douglas County District Attorney David McDade has said that once Tillman was on the ground, the others joined in.
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.
Several teenage witnesses are expected to testify in the trial.
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