Prosecutors Will Seek Death Penalty For Man Accused Of Shooting Atlanta Spa, Killing Eight

(Photo by Megan Varner/Getty Images)

Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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A Georgia district attorney will seek the death penalty for the man accused of killing eight at three spas in March.

Robert Aaron Long pleaded guilty to killing four people at a spa in Cherokee County, Georgia, the first spa Long allegedly visited during his rampage throughout the Atlanta area that left eight dead, Fox News reported. Under this plea, Long was given four life sentences without parole plus another 35 years. When Long’s attorney reached out to District Attorney Fani Willis to strike a possible plea deal, Willis informed the defense attorney she would be seeking the death penalty, according to Fox News.

Willis believes Long targeted the women working at these three spas in the Atlanta area because of their gender and race, and will also be seeking a sentence enhancement for Long under Georgia’s hate crime laws, Fox News noted.

Long had a hearing in Fulton County Superior Court Monday morning, according to Fox News. He faces murder charges, aggravated assault and domestic terrorism for killing four other Asian women at two other spas in Atlanta, Fox News reported. At the hearing, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville said the indictment against Long and a plea deal will be entered Sept. 28, according to Fox News.

After the hearing was over, Willis said this was “one of the most horrific cases” in Fulton County history, Fox News reported. “These are all women who worked and lived and played in our community.”

Authorities said that Long’s shooting spree began at the Cherokee County spa, where he killed Paul Michels, 54, Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, 49, Daoyou Feng, 44, and Delaina Yaun, 33, according to Fox News. Authorities believe that Long then drove 30 miles into Atlanta, and shot three women at Gold Spa before he went across the street to Aromatherapy Spa and shot one more woman.

Long told investigators that he had an addiction to pornography and sex, which led to the shootings. (RELATED: Suspect In Georgia Shooting Might Have Been A Sex Addict, Police Say)

While in court in Cherokee County, Long said he was going to kill himself on March 16, the day of the shootings, according to Fox News. Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace claimed in court that Long blamed his victims, Fox News reported.