Douglas County jurors resumed deliberations Wednesday on whether to recommend the death penalty for a young man convicted in the beating death of a teenager.
The jurors had time to deliberate for a little less than an hour Tuesday before the judge sent them home for the day. Earlier Tuesday, lawyers for both sides argued their cases.
"This is not a crime that someone should die in prison for, either by lethal injection or being carried out in a pine box," said Jerry Wood, an attorney for the defendant, Tracen Franklin.
Franklin, 20, is the only defendant whose case has gone to trial. Last week, the jury found him guilty of the murder of Bobby Tillman.
"The violence must stop," said Douglas County Assistant District Attorney Brian Fortner. "Send a message with your verdict that if you beat and kill an innocent person in Douglas County, you will get the death penalty."
In November of 2010, Tillman, 18, was at a teenage house party in Douglasville which the homeowners shut down because attendees - many of them uninvited - had grown unruly. According to testimony, a friend of Franklin, Emanuel Boykins, was inadvertently struck as he tried to break up a fight among girls.
Witnesses testified that Boykins announced that since he doesn't hit girls, he would "pop" the next boy he saw. That boy was Tillman, who was sitting on the trunk of a friend's car.
Boykins threw the first punch, knocking Tillman to the ground. Witnesses said they saw Franklin join the attack, kicking and stomping Tillman repeatedly as he lay helpless on the ground.
The medical examiner testified that the beating caused a tear in Tillman's heart which killed him.
Boykins pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty. He testified on Friday wearing his prison jumpsuit. The defense is trying to convince the jury that if Boykins can be allowed to serve life in prison, so should their client.
Prosecutors pointed out that Boykins never stomped or kicked Tillman.
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