Douglas County Superior Court Judge William McClain sentenced Tracen Franklin, 20, to life in prison without parole.
Franklin is the man convicted of stomping to death a teenager outside a house party in 2010.
Before McClain sentenced Franklin, he heard final arguments from both sides and statements from Tillman's family.
"You have embedded in my brain, in my memory every day that my grandson was killed, stomped, beat and kicked by you because you couldn't play football. I just can't relate to something like that," Tillman's grandmother, Juanita Laurent told Franklin.
Originally, because it was a death penalty case, it was up to the jury to decide the fate of Franklin. But last week, after jurors had deliberated for four days on Franklin's punishment, Judge McClain declared the jury hung.
"I am clearing my conscious - the sentence and judgment of this court is that you shall be committed to the custody of the department of corrections for the remainder of your natural life without the possibility of parole. May God have mercy on your soul," McClain told Franklin.
One juror told CBS Atlanta News that he and the other jurors never really considered death. He said they were hung up on whether Franklin should ever be eligible for parole.
"Because he was so young," said juror Bobby Garrett. "But to me, he was the same age of the victim, and Bobby Tillman didn't get a choice in the matter."
Because the jury could not reach a decision, the death penalty was no longer an option.
Before McClain sentenced Franklin, he spoke for the first time during his six-week trial.
"I hope you accept me as a young man who makes mistakes who can and will accept the consequences," said Franklin.
He also apologized to Tillman's mother.
"To Ms. Rivarde, I cannot look you in your eye and expect to feel your pain. I hurt you and your family by participating and taking something that I can't re-give, and that's the love for your son. I want you to know and believe that I am sincerely sorry."
Earlier this month, the jury convicted Franklin of murder for the death of Tillman. Testimony showed that Franklin and three of his friends randomly attacked Tillman, 18, as a house party in Douglasville was winding down. Witnesses said they saw Franklin and three others repeatedly punch and stomp Tillman as he lay helpless on the ground.
The medical examiner testified that the repeated blows caused a tear in Tillman's heart, killing him.
"I'm just relieved and want to say thank you Jesus that Bobby received justice today," said Rivarde. "This outcome gave my son justice but I will always be in pain because my son was murdered. He was 18-year-old and his life was snatched."
One of the attackers, Emanuel Boykin, entered a guilty plea and is serving life in prison with the possibility of parole. Two other young men are awaiting their trials.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, May 24 2013 10:30 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:30:43 GMT
The story is familiar. Students park their cars in a lot at Emory Village, go into a restaurant for lunch, but when they walk out they see a sight that gives them indigestion. "I found my car was booted,"More >
Students have complained that, for years, Alpha Booting Company has swooped in and booted legally parked cars.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:16:39 GMT
(RNN) – When faced with a cleaver-wielding killer who'd just murdered someone, what would you do? For Ingrid Loyau-Kennet, the answer was obvious. Instead of running for her life, she engaged him inMore >
A British woman voluntarily put herself face-to-face with an alleged terrorist and may have saved lives. More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >