Robert Aaron Long, 22, pleaded guilty Tuesday to four of the eight murders
The gunman accused of killing eight people across three metro Atlanta spas has pleaded guilty to four of the murders, sparing him the death penalty and landing him with life without parole for those slayings.
Robert Aaron Long, 22, appeared in court in Cherokee County Tuesday morning after reaching a plea deal admitting to all charges of malice murder, felony murder, attempt to commit murder and aggravated assault in the county.
Long still faces the death penalty over the other four murders which are being prosecuted in Fulton County.
He was indicted in Fulton County last month where he faces charges of domestic terrorism with a hate crime enhancement in addition to murder.
The white suspect is accused of going on a mass shooting rampage at two Asian massage parlors in Atlanta and one in Cherokee County back on March 16.
Eight people were killed in the attacks, six of them women of Asian descent.
They are: Hyun Jung Grant, 51; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Soon C. Park, 44; Suncha Kim, 69, and 63-year-old Yong Yue.
Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace told the court Tuesday Long was motivated by a 'sex addiction' and his desire to eliminate sources of his temptation, but not by any hate or prejudice against Asian people.
'All of the evidence that was gathered with regard to Cherokee County, your honor, came to the same conclusion, that this crime was not motivated by a bias or hate against Asian Americans,' she said.
'This was not any kind of hate crime,' she said.
Wallace said prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty if Long didn't plead guilty.
However, all the relatives of the victims they had been able to contact are supportive of the plea deal, she added.
Long took the stand where he told the judge he understood is rights to a trial and agreed to taking the deal.
Young's Asian Massage, near Acworth, a city about 32 miles northwest of Atlanta in Cherokee County. Long pleaded guilty to the four murders at the spa
In the March 16 mass shooting, Long is believed to have first opened fire at Young's Asian Massage, near Acworth, a city about 32 miles northwest of Atlanta in Cherokee County.
He allegedly killed four at the spa before driving to Atlanta and opening fire in Gold Massage Spa in Atlanta, killing three.
He then allegedly crossed the street to the Aromatherapy Spa, shooting another victim dead there.
A ninth victim - Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz, 30 - was shot in the throat, forehead, lungs and stomach, but survived and is expected to recover.
Long then went on the run and was driving to Florida to target porn-industry locations when he was arrested 150 miles south of Atlanta.
Officers rammed his Hyundai off the road to take him into custody where he is said to have confessed to the killings.
Law enforcement officials confer outside Gold Spa following the shooting on March 16