Atlanta-Area Spa Shooter Pleads Guilty to Four Counts of Murder

Atlanta-area spa shooter Robert Aaron Long, who was accused of killing eight people, pleaded guilty to four counts of murder in Cherokee County on July 27.

Long, 22, admitted to killing four Cherokee County victims — Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Delaina Yaun, 33; and Paul Michels, 54.

In a plea deal, Long agreed in court to plead guilty to a total of 23 charges, including malice murder, felony murder, attempt to commit murder, and aggravated assault, according to the prosecutor.

District Attorney Shannon Wallace, however, said that the murders were “not any kind of hate crime,” citing that Cherokee County investigators saw no evidence of racial bias, which is in contrast with the charge of hate crime enhancement that Long faces in nearby Fulton County, where he would be transferred to face charges for the murders of four other victims there.

Cherokee County Superior Court Chief Judge Ellen McElyea accepted the plea deal and sentenced Long to four consecutive life sentences, plus 35 years, without the possibility of parole.

Long, 22, is scheduled to appear in Fulton County next month where he faces a 19-count indictment, which includes charges of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and domestic terrorism.

According to prosecutors, the victims in Fulton County were Suncha Kim, 69; Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; and Yong Ae Yue, 63.

District Attorney Fani Willis filed a notice that she intends to pursue the death penalty for hate crimes targeting the sex and race of the victims.

Long carried out the shootings at three different Atlanta-area massage parlors last March amid a rise in violence against Asian Americans. Six of the eight victims he killed were Asian women.

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