Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the man accused of murdering eight people in the Atlanta massage spa shooting spree.
Robert Aaron Long, 22, has already pleaded guilty to killing four people at the Young’s Asian Massage parlor in Cherokee County on March 16.
He is also accused of murdering four more in two Atlanta spas later that same day.
Long was scheduled to be arraigned on Monday in Fulton County on the four Atlanta slayings before it was postponed until late next month.
In that case, Long is facing charges of murder, aggravated assault and domestic terrorism.
Prosecutors in the Atlanta proceedings told Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville Monday that they had already filed paperwork to seek the death penalty.
The prosecutors said they were seeking the death penalty after characterizing the mass shooting has a hate crime based on race or gender.
Six of the eight victims were Asian women. All four women killed in Atlanta were Asian.
Long, who was sporting short hair instead of the mohawk he wore last time he faced court, mostly sat in silence during the brief hearing.
He quietly responded “yes, sir” when the judge asked if he understood the proceedings.
Long accepted a plea deal last month in the Cherokee County proceedings in exchange for four life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Prosecutors in that case had planned to seek the death penalty if he did not plead guilty.
Those killed in the Cherokee County spa included Paul Michels, 54; Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; and Delaina Yaun, 33.
Suncha Kim, 69; Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; and Yong Ae Yue, 63, were killed in the Atlanta massage parlors.
The mass shooting sparked fear and outrage among Asian Americans amid a wave of anti-Asian bias and violence across the US during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During his Cherokee County hearing, Long told the court he’d planned to kill himself that day and went to the massage businesses thinking that paying for sex — which he considered hateful — would push him to do it.
He detailed how he bought a 9mm handgun and a bottle of bourbon on the way. Long said he drank in the parking lot of the spa for about an hour — and in his drunken rage decided to blame the spa workers for his twisted perversions and kill them instead.
With Post wires