Atlanta-area spa shootings suspect to appear in court Tuesday for plea hearing

The man accused of murdering eight people including six Asian women at massage parlors in metro Atlanta is expected to appear in Cherokee County court Tuesday morning.

Cherokee County prosecutors reportedly have agreed to a plea deal for Robert Long, the accused Atlanta-area spa shootings suspect. Long is accused of killing 49-year-old Xiaojie "Emily" Tan, 44-year-old Daoyou Feng, 33-year-old Delaina Yaun, and 54-year-old Paul Michels at Youngs Asian Massage near Acworth on March 16. Long also shot and wounded a fifth person, investigators said. 

Long faces four counts of malice murder, felony murder, and 11 counts of aggravated assault. He also faces criminal attempt to commit murder, aggravated battery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and first-degree criminal damage to property. 


There is no word yet on what that deal would look like, but Long still faces a death penalty case in Fulton County for shootings at the Gold Spa and Aromatherapy Spa that killed 69-year-old Suncha Kim, 74-year-old Soon Chung Park, 51-year-old Hyun Jung Grant, and 63-year-old Yong Ae Yue, 63. All of the Atlanta victims were women of Asian descent. 

Long was charged in Fulton County with four counts of murder, four counts of felony murder, five counts of assault with a deadly weapon, four counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and one count of domestic terrorism, according to online records.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said her office will pursue the death penalty in those shootings. She filed paperwork last week to bring the defendant to the county in anticipation of Tuesday's plea hearing.


A makeshift memorial outside the Gold Spa in Atlanta days after a deadly shooting rampage on March 16, 2021. (Austin McAfee / FOX 5)

In an initial interview with investigators, Long claimed to have a "sex addiction," and authorities said he apparently lashed out at businesses he viewed as a temptation. But those statements spurred outrage and widespread skepticism given the locations and that six of the eight victims were women of Asian descent. Willis said the community has no tolerance for an alleged hate crime like this. 

Willis said she is comfortable with her death penalty decision and believes it does not have to be an uphill battle. The new DA  said death penalty cases like this will take 24 to 36 months. 

Tuesday's hearing in Cherokee County will begin at 9 a.m. will live stream the proceedings.

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