I'm very confused on my feelings for him...i love him as a friend
This is all I needed to read. You love him as a friend. Just tell him that is how you want things to remain. Nothing wrong with that. Just because HE wants to take things to the next level does not mean you have to do so.
wants to get married and have kids with me.
After nearly 12 years and having little contact and he is saying this? And you are asking us what we think? Really? I have a 29 year old son who you probably know only a tiny bit less about than this guy at this point. (In other words, you really do not know this guy well at all.) How about moving to SC and letting me hook you up to get married and have kids with him?
He's controlling and i like my freedom.
Then why would you even consider a relationship with someone who is controlling? Especially when you consider his past is filled with an affinity for drinking too much and being violent? Do you seriously want to end up in the hospital or morgue when your freedom clashes with his controlling nature? (And I won't even talk about the robbery thing. I don't care what he claims, if he went to jail for it, he was more than likely involved. But why should he admit that to you when it might hamper his attempt to get into your pants, marry you and have kids.)
What should i do? Stop talking to him or give it a chance?
Must we really tell you the answer? I'm not saying stop talking to him altogether. Be his friend if you want. Just stay well away from any romantic entanglements with him. I think you can find better prospects to hitch your wagon to.