State rests in trial involving Douglas Co. teen beaten to death - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

State rests in trial involving Douglas County teen beaten to death

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Tracen Franklin Tracen Franklin

Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday in the trial of a young man accused of beating a teenager to death in Douglas County.

Lawyers for Tracen Franklin are not ready to move forward with their case until Wednesday because a witness isn't available.

Lawyers hope to prove that Franklin did not intend to kill Bobby Tillman, 18, who was beaten and stomped to death at a house party in November 2010.

The defense is expected to rest Wednesday morning, with closing arguments as early as the afternoon.

Prosecutors have said the problems began when a fist fight between two teenage girls led to a mob mentality among some of the party-goers.

In court on Monday, witness Erika Kliener told jurors she stepped back after trying to break up a girl fight. She said that's when she noticed Tillman, who was staying out of the fray completely.

"He was standing there by himself doing nothing," Kliener said.

Kliener testified that she saw a couple of angry-looking guys head toward Tillman.

"They approach Bobby for no reason at all," said Kliener. "And one guy hits him."

Witness Shalaria Gardner demonstrated for jurors how she remembers Franklin stomping Tillman more than seven times with what she called an aggressive look on his face.

"I see him run over to the fight," said Gardner. "He was stomping Bobby."

Three other young men are charged in the case. One has pleaded guilty and two others have said they plan to plead guilty in the case.

If convicted, Franklin could face the death penalty.

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