Atlanta-area spa shootings: Fulton DA ready for death-penalty case, possible plea in Cherokee Co.

The man accused of murdering eight people including six Asian women at massage parlors in Atlanta and Cherokee County will head to court. 

Cherokee County prosecutors are reportedly close to a plea deal for Robert Long, the accused Atlanta-area spa shootings suspect, but that still doesn't change the way Fulton County District Attorney’s Office will prosecute its case.

"It is a decision I thought long and hard about, but in this case, I think it is appropriate," said DA Fani Willis.

Willis affirmed her decision to seek the death penalty against suspected spa shooter Robert Long. She filed paperwork this week to bring the defendant to the county after getting an indication he may plead guilty in the four Cherokee County murders.

"That they have a hearing on the 27th of this month. It is possible that the case will resolve there. As you’re aware, we have not had Mr. Long in our jurisdiction for any matters and so, we think it is imperative that we bring him to Fulton County," Willis said.

Long has an arraignment set in Fulton on August 23. 

The new DA said she is comfortable with her death penalty decision and believes it does not have to be an uphill battle.

"It is a myth that people that come from urban jurisdictions will not give death. They will, of course, be very cautious about doing it as we would expect them to be, but they will look at the facts and circumstances of the case and decide when it is appropriate," Willis said.

Willis said death penalty cases like this will take 24 to 36 months. She said the community has no tolerance for an alleged hate crime like this. Six of the eight victims were Asian women.

"We are the community that is too busy to hate and there is no tolerance here for people that would target somebody because of their gender or because of their race," Willis said.

All eyes are expected to be on that Cherokee County courtroom on Tuesday.

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