The big picture: Cherokee County Superior Court Chief Judge Ellen McElyea accepted the plea deal, and Long was given four life sentences after a prosecutor said investigators found no evidence of racial bias.
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Though six of the eight victims in the shootings were Asian women, Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace told the judge “this was not any kind of hate crime.”
Long still faces a hate crime enhancement for his trial in Atlanta.
Background: The attacks started at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor in Cherokee County. Two people were killed at the scene, and three were taken to the hospital, where two of them later died.
Police said Long then drove south to Atlanta, where he shot and killed three women, all of whom were of Asian descent.
What to watch: Long is set to appear in Fulton County next month, where he faces charges of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and domestic terrorism.
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