Man Charged in Georgia Spa Killings Pleads Not Guilty

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
September 29, 2021 Updated: September 29, 2021

The man accused of killing eight people in Georgia in March pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder and other charges on Tuesday.

Robert Aaron Long, 22, entered the plea through his attorney during a brief hearing in Fulton County.

Prosecutors say Long shot dead eight people at three spas in the Atlanta area.

Long already pleaded guilty to four of the killings. A judge in Cherokee County sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders of Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Daoyou Feng, 44; Paul Andre Michels, 54; and Xiaojie Yan, 49.

Long is charged in Fulton County with killing Hyun Jung Grant, 51; Yong Ae Yue, 63; Suncha Kim, 69; and Soon Chung Park, 74.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat, has said she will pursue the death penalty.

“Last year, I told the voters of Fulton County that I could not imagine a circumstance where I would seek it,” she said earlier this year. “And at that time, I did not. Unfortunately, a case has arisen in the first few months of my term that I believe warrants it.”

“The decision that I made to seek death were with the complete support of the families [of the victims], and they continue to support this office,” she added during a briefing last month.

Willis believes Long committed hate crimes, though prosecutors in Cherokee County said there was no evidence that was the case.

Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace, who worked with Long’s attorneys to reach a plea deal, told reporters after the deal was struck that “justice was served.”

She said she could have pursued the death penalty but decided against it because victims and their families did not want her to in part because of how long a trial could take.

In a court hearing in Cherokee County in July, Long described how he purchased a firearm, a bottle of bourbon and set out to kill himself, claiming to feel remorseful for a self-proclaimed sex addiction.

Instead, he said he decided to carry out the spa shootings across two counties in metro Atlanta.

The next hearing in Fulton County is set for Nov. 23.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.