A prosecutor stated on Tuesday that the person accused of killing eight folks at spas in and round Atlanta had focused a few of the victims as a result of they had been of Asian descent, and stated she was planning to hunt the demise penalty in opposition to him.

The suspect, Robert Aaron Long, 22, who’s white, was formally indicted on homicide fees on Tuesday for the 4 killings at two therapeutic massage companies within the City of Atlanta, which shook the nation in March amid a wave of anti-Asian hate crimes.

Mr. Long had already been charged with homicide in Cherokee County for 4 different killings at a spa there lower than an hour earlier than the Atlanta assaults.

In a court docket submitting, Fani Willis, the district legal professional in Fulton County, stated Mr. Long had focused the four victims in Atlanta, all of whom had been girls of Asian descent, due to their race, nationwide origin, intercourse and gender. The girls killed in Atlanta had been Soon Chung Park, 74; Suncha Kim, 69; Yong Ae Yue, 63; and Hyun Jung Grant, 51.

Ms. Willis filed a discover in court docket that she’s going to search hate crime penalties if Mr. Long is convicted of homicide. Under Georgia legislation, a prosecutor can ask a jury to find out if an individual convicted of an underlying crime can be responsible of a hate crime, which carries a further penalty.

A lawyer for Mr. Long couldn’t be instantly reached for remark.

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