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Atlanta spa shootings: Robert Aaron Long sentenced to 4 life sentences as part of plea deal

WSOC Charlotte
WSOC Charlotte

CANTON, Ga. — A judge in Georgia accepted a plea deal Tuesday reached by Cherokee County prosecutors in the March shooting deaths of four people at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor in Acworth, handing down four life sentences to shooter Robert Aaron Long.

Long pleaded guilty to four counts of malice murder for the deaths of Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Delaina Yaun, 33; and Paul Michels, 54. He also pleaded guilty to charges of criminal intent to commit a felony, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony and first-degree criminal damage to property.

Long was accused of killing eight people in shootings at three Atlanta-area spas on March 16, including Youngs Asian Massage Parlor. He still faces a possible death penalty sentence if he’s convicted in the four other killings in Atlanta, where he also faces charges of domestic terrorism with a hate crime enhancement in addition to murder, The Associated Press reported.

Many of the people killed in the March 16 shootings were of Asian descent, although investigators have said that race did not play a factor in the attack. Instead, authorities said he was motivated by a “sex addition.”

“This was not any kind of hate crime,” Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace said Tuesday, according to the AP.

Authorities previously said the 22-year-old shot five people, including Tan, Feng, Yaun and Michels, at the spa in Acworth before driving to Atlanta. About an hour after the shooting at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor, police responding to a call about a robbery found three women dead from apparent gunshot wounds at Gold Spa in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood. While there, officers learned of a call reporting shots fired at Aromatherapy Spa across the street and found a woman who appeared to have been shot dead.

Officials have identified the four people killed in Atlanta as Suncha Kim, 69; Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; and Yong Ae Yue, 63.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

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