Atlanta shooter sentenced to life without parole

Atlanta

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated from its original version to say that AP reportedly misquoted District Attorney Shannon Wallace during Robert Aaron Long’s hearing on July 27. The full quote has been included below.

The Atlanta shooter who murdered eight people, six being of Asian descent, in March has pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life. 

The verdict: Robert Aaron Long, 22, pleaded guilty to murdering four out of the eight people who were killed on March 16. Long received four life sentences without the possibility of parole, according to AP News

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  • District Attorney Shannon Wallace stated in a press conference on July 27, “Your honor, in discussing this case with Mr. Burns, the defense’s position is that this was not any type of hate crime.”
  • In Cherokee County, Long shot four people, three of them women and two were of Asian descent. 
  • Cherokee County prosecutors determined that there wasn’t any bias involved in the crimes after Long told officers that he murdered these women due to a “sex addiction.”
  • Wallace believed adding a hate crime charge due to hatred of women wouldn’t have made a difference in his sentencing, due to the plea deal. She stated that if the case were to go to trial, her intention would have been to ask for a sentence enhancement based on gender bias. 
  • Wallace asserts that the relatives of the victims agreed to the plea deal in order for justice to be served as quickly as possible. 
  • Although Long has been sentenced to life in Cherokee County, he still faces the death penalty in Fulton County where he murdered four more women, all of Asian descent, CNN reported. 
  • Prosecutors in Fulton County will be going for the death penalty due to Long’s hate crimes against women and race.

Background: On March 16, Long drove to three different spas in the Atlanta area and killed eight people with one person wounded

  • As NextShark previously reported, police responded to a robbery at Gold Spa where Long had murdered three people at 5:50 p.m. that Tuesday. 
  • Long had shot five other people 50 minutes earlier at a different spa called Young’s Asian Massage Parlor. 
  • He was taken into custody at 8:30 p.m. after a car chase where he was reportedly heading towards Florida in order to continue his killing spree, CNN stated. 
  • This crime took place during the height of anti-Asian sentiment in the U.S.
  • While police told the public Long’s motive was a “sex addiction,” eye-witnesses who spoke Korean told South Korean news outlets that Long was shouting, “I’m going to kill all Asians,” as he shot people, Rolling Stone reported. 

Featured Image via Jason Leung on Unsplash

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