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US spa shooter gets 4 life sentences

Robert Aaron Long faces death penalty in separate case in city of Atlanta

Michael Hernandez   | 27.07.2021
US spa shooter gets 4 life sentences

WASHINGTON

A man from the state of Georgia who is accused of killing eight people, struck a plea deal with prosecutors and was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Robert Aaron Long earlier pled guilty to the first four of eight murders related to a shooting spree in March that targeted three Asian massage parlors in and around Atlanta.

He appeared in court in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta, where he was facing charges related to shootings at the Young's Asian Massage -- the first parlor that he attacked on March 16. Four people were killed.

The majority of the victims at the Atlanta-area spas were Asian women, and Long blamed the massacre on a sex addiction, denying it was racially motivated.

Long, 22, was sentenced to four life sentences to be served consecutively, in addition to 35 years on other charges, according to multiple reports.

Three more women were killed at the Gold Spa and another woman at the nearby Aromatherapy Spa -- both of which are in Atlanta.

Long faces separate charges in Atlanta related to those shootings, including a hate crime enhancement.

He faces the death penalty in that case if he is convicted of the four deaths, according to reports.

Prosecutors, however, said they saw no evidence of racial bias.

“This was not any kind of hate crime,” District Attorney Shannon Wallace said, according to The Associated Press.

She said Long was motivated by a “sex addiction,” and a desire to eliminate temptation, the AP reported.

Long told the court that he planned to kill himself on March 16 and went to Young’s Asian Massage to pay for sex, which he reportedly thought would “push him to” kill himself.

“I was scared of killing myself and wanted to try to overcome that so I could,” he told Superior Court Chief Judge Ellen, according to the AP.

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