Georgia man gets life sentence in 4 of 8 Asian spa killings

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CANTON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia man accused of killing eight people at three Atlanta-area massage businesses has been sentenced to life without parole.

Robert Aaron Long was sentenced after pleading guilty to all charges in first four shooting deaths, saying he wanted to punish the people who enabled his sex acts. But a prosecutor said Cherokee County investigators saw no evidence of racial bias.

That’s at odds with the hate crime enhancement he faces in Atlanta, and is sure to frustrate observers outraged over his apparent targeting of Asian women in the shootings.

Cherokee County Superior Court Chief Judge Ellen McElyea accepted the plea deal after noting that two of the victims were not Asian, and one was male.

“Once hatred is given a gun, it doesn’t matter who gets in the way. we are all subject to being the victim of a hate crime, whether we belong to that group or not,” the judge said.

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