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Fulton County District Attorney speaks after spa shooting suspect appears in court

Long still faces execution if convicted of murdering four people at two spas in Atlanta.

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Robert Aaron Long, the shooter convicted of killing multiple people in a Cherokee County spa, appeared in a Fulton County courtroom on Monday.

Long still faces execution if convicted of murdering four people at two spas in Atlanta. Six of the victims were women of Asian descent. A prosecutor said the 22-year-old defendant signed a plea deal admitting to all of the charges in Cherokee County.

Long pleaded guilty to all four charges related to the spa shootings in a Cherokee County court on July 27. A judge accepted the plea and sentenced him to life without parole. 

Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Smith held a press conference after Long pleaded guilty for all four charges.

"Today our community will begin to heal from these unspeakable acts of violence," Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace said. 

Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis said she plans to seek the death penalty for the Fulton County deaths.

"The state is continuing to seek death," Willis said during Monday's press conference.

Veteran metro Atlanta prosecutors believe any death penalty case presents several difficulties and will add significant time to the case.

Willis has already said she believes the case will last 24 to 36 months with her office seeking the death penalty.

"The decisions that I made to seek death were with the complete support of the family," she said. 

"I am very comfortable with my decision to request sentencing enhancement based on the fact that race and gender played a role," Willis firmly stated. "Lady Justice is finally blind ... every single person in this community has value and we will fight for them as hard as we would fight for any victim." 

Long is scheduled to appear back in court on Sept. 28 at 9 a.m.


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