Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis will seek the death penalty against Robert Aaron Long, the Atlanta Spa Shooter who killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women, during a shooting rampage on March 16.
The decision brought attention to Wallis’ stance on the death penalty, which has significantly shifted from the time she launched her campaign, to her time in office. Prior to assuming the role, Willis said that she opposed capitol punishment, citing that out of the murder cases she formerly prosecuted, none were appropriate for the death penalty.
“I cannot foresee a case (in which) I would seek death, as I believe that life without parole is an appropriate remedy,” Willis previously stated.
In addition to the death penalty, Willis will also pursue hate crime charges, affirming what many believe, that Long targeted Asian women in an act of hate and misogyny in spite of law enforcement officials who stated otherwise. It marks the first time hate crime charges will be pursued in the county.
In July of last year Georgia’s hate crime statue went into effect after outrage over the senseless killing of Ahmaud Arbery. It allows “additional penalties to be imposed for certain crimes when motivated by a victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender or disability. It also mandates the collection and reporting of data on hate crimes investigated by law enforcement,” according to the Associated Press.
Willis addressed her critics during a Tuesday press conference.
“Last year, I told the voters of Fulton County that I could not imagine a circumstance where I would seek it. And at that time I did not,” she said. “Unfortunately, a case has risen in the first few months of my term that I believe warrants the ultimate penalty and we shall seek it.”
“I have personally reviewed the statement in this case. I have personally walked the crime scene in these cases along with Chief Senior ADA, I have spent more than six hours with the families involved in this case. We have reviewed the evidence and I am comfortable in the decision that this is an appropriate sentence to seek.”
Because Long crossed county lines during the shooting rampage, he faces four counts of murder, aggravated assault, domestic terrorism and possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony in Fulton County.
In Cherokee County, Long was also indicted on four counts of murder, criminal attempt to commit murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and criminal damage to property in the first degree.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, only one person has been sentenced to death in the state over the last seven years. In 2019 a woman named Tiffany Moss was sentenced to death for starving her 10-year-old stepdaughter to death and attempting to burn her remains inside of a trash can. Moss represented herself, citing that it was “God’s will” to go alone in the trial.
If Long is convicted of the felony charges under the hate crime statue a judge could impose two additional years for a felony and a fine up to $5,000.
Violent White Folks Who Were Taken Into Custody With Loving Care By Police
1. Robert Aaron Long, suspect in Asian massage parlor killing spree in GASource:Crisp County Sheriff's Office 1 of 29
2. Duke Webb, bowling alley gunman in Rockford, IllinoisSource:Winnebago County Sheriff's Office 2 of 29
3. Car Drives Into Group Of Protesters In New YorkSource:Getty 3 of 29
4. Brad Parscale, demoted former Trump campaign managerSource:Getty 4 of 29
5. Brett HankisonSource:Shelby County Sheriff's Department 5 of 29
6. Thomas Kinworthy accused of killing Black cop, shooting another6 of 29
7. Dalton Potter allegedly shot a cop and another man7 of 29
8. White suspect physically attacking officer8 of 29
9. Kyle Rittenhouse, Kenosha Jacob Blake shooterSource:Twitter 9 of 29
10. White supremacist who beat a woman on video10 of 29
11. West Hollywood shooter11 of 29
12. Gregory and Travis McMichaelsSource:Glynn County Sheriff's Office 12 of 29
13. Anthony J. Trifiletti, shot an unarmed Black manSource:Saint Paul Police Department 13 of 29
14. Matthew Bernard, Killed Three People14 of 29
15.15 of 29
16. Mark Boisey16 of 29
17. Lorne BrownSource:NBC Miami 17 of 29
18. Patrick Crusius, El Paso Mall Mass Shooting Suspect18 of 29
19. Aaron DeanSource:Tarrant County Jail 19 of 29
20. Amber Guyger20 of 29
21. James Holmes21 of 29
22. Michael Mattioli22 of 29
23. Dylann RoofSource:Getty 23 of 29
24. Matthew Sloan Punched And Spit On Police...24 of 29
25. Assaulted Police And Even Chased Them...25 of 29
26. Shot At Police At Trump Tower...26 of 29
27. Shot At Police At Walmart -- And Was Let Go...27 of 29
28. Man Holds Black Man At Gunpoint And He Is Calmly Arrested...28 of 29
29. Grady Wayne Wilkes29 of 29
Fulton County DA Reverses Course, Seeks ‘Ultimate Penalty’ Against Spa Shooting Suspect was originally published on newsone.com