Fulton County trial for Atlanta spa shootings delayed

A sign is seen at the Gold Spa in Atlanta on March 18,2021, the day after multiple people were killed at three massage spas in the Atlanta area.

Ben Gray / Associated Press

The Fulton County death penalty trial for the man accused of killing four Asian women in two spas on Piedmont Road will now occur in January 2023.

Robert Aaron Long faces 19 felony charges in Fulton County for the deaths of four Asian women killed in March 2021. The charges include felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and domestic terrorism.

He already pleaded guilty to the murders of four additional people in Cherokee County on the same night.

The trial was slated to begin October 17, but prosecutors in the state’s case against Long requested more time to prepare. Fulton County Superior Judge Ural Glanville granted that request.

This will be the first time Georgia’s new hate crime law will apply to a Fulton County case. The law allows the prosecutors to seek extra penalties if the crime was found to be motivated by things like racism or misogyny. The state passed the law after Ahmaud Arbery was murdered in Brunswick, Georgia, by white men.

Long faces the death penalty.