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Robert Aaron Long pleads responsible to 4 killings and will get life in jail, however nonetheless may face demise penalty

Robert Aaron Long agreed in a Cherokee County courtroom to plead responsible to 23 expenses in all, together with 4 counts of malice homicide, and was sentenced to 4 consecutive life sentences with out the potential of parole, plus 35 years.

The sentence represents the primary a part of a prolonged authorized path forward. Long nonetheless faces an extra 19 expenses in close by Fulton County, the place prosecutors will probably be pursuing the demise penalty for hate crimes concentrating on the intercourse and race of the victims.

In courtroom Tuesday, carrying handcuffs tied to his waist, Long stood on the lectern and calmly defined how and why he carried out the primary of his three spa shootings.

Feeling hopeless and suicidal as a consequence of what he described as an dependancy to intercourse, Long bought a gun and ammo, drove to a liquor retailer to purchase alcohol, after which arrived at Young’s Asian Massage, the place he stated he had beforehand acquired sexual providers. There, he sat in his automobile for about an hour ingesting and deciding between killing himself or the folks within the spa, he stated.

He made up his thoughts after which went inside and acquired a “service” in a again room, he advised the courtroom. Afterward, he went to the lavatory, and when he got here out, he began capturing at folks, he stated. He didn’t know or acknowledge any of the victims.

“How long was it between the first shot and the time that you left, if you recall?” the choose requested.

“It didn’t feel like more than five minutes,” Long stated.

The feedback reveal his personal perspective concerning the killings on March 16, when Long opened hearth at Young’s spa, about 30 miles outdoors Atlanta in Cherokee County, after which at two neighboring spas in northeast Atlanta. He was arrested a number of hours later about 150 miles south of Atlanta.
Six of the eight victims have been Asian ladies, and the capturing emphasised the broader rise in racism and violence towards Asian Americans over the previous yr. In explicit, the assaults illuminated the particular misogyny and racism that Asian ladies face.
Fetishized, sexualized and marginalized, Asian women are uniquely vulnerable to violence
The hate crime expenses towards Long in Fulton County are believed to be the primary software of the regulation in Georgia.

Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace stated she supposed to hunt the demise penalty and hate crime expenses based mostly on gender had there not been a plea deal. She stated that their investigation didn’t present Long had any bias or prejudice towards Asians, and so prosecutors wouldn’t have sought a hate crime enhancement based mostly on race.

Defense legal professional Zachary H. Smith stated in a press release he hoped prosecutors in Fulton County would additionally comply with a plea deal with out the demise penalty.

“It has been Mr. Long’s desire to accept responsibility for his actions on March 16 from the time that he interviewed with police after his arrest,” Smith stated. “The Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace worked with us to negotiate this case to achieve today’s result bringing finality in Cherokee County. It is our hope that the Fulton County District Attorney follows D.A. Wallace’s example and agrees to a similar resolution in that county.”

Long will probably be transferred to a Fulton County jail as ordered by a choose. He is scheduled to be arraigned on August 23.

Shooter blames sexual dependancy

The deadly capturing at Young’s Asian Massage close to Acworth left 5 folks shot and 4 lifeless: Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Tan, 49; and Daoyou Feng, 44.

After Long’s arrest, he advised authorities the shootings have been “not racially motivated,” in line with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. He advised authorities he believed he had a intercourse dependancy and that he noticed the spas as “a temptation … that he wanted to eliminate,” Sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker stated then.

In courtroom on Tuesday, he defined additional why his “sexual struggles” precipitated such points in his life.

Sex addiction isn't a medically recognized diagnosis

“The avenues I take to meet those desires, it never felt like I had a lot of control over those urges and I became obsessive to the point where it would occupy a lot of my thought space,” he stated. “It’s hurt a lot of the relationships in my life, and I still found myself going back to it even after all the efforts I made to treating it, coping skills with it, and I’d still go back to it.”

Elcias Hernandez Ortiz, the lone survivor of the capturing, grew to become emotional as he shared with the courtroom in a raspy, tender voice about how tough the previous few months have been for him and his 10-year-old daughter. Ortiz was shot within the face and a bullet stays lodged in him.

“This has affected my voice. I used to sing, and now I won’t be able to anymore,” he stated.

He stated that Long would not deserve freedom.

“How many lives did he take away? And he tried to take away mine too,” he stated.

The spouse of Michels, Bonnie, additionally shared her ache and anguish with the courtroom.

“A part of me died with him that day. He was my rock,” she stated. They had been married for 24 years.

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