The Atlanta spa shootings suspect has pleaded not guilty to 4 murder charges. Prosecutors want him to face the death penalty.

Aromatherapy spa georgia shooting atlanta
Aramotherapy Spa, one of three locations where Robert Aaron Long is accused of carrying out deadly shootings at day spas, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. March 17, 2021. Chris Aluka Berry for The Washington Post via Getty Images
  • The man accused of killing eight people in a string of Atlanta-area spa shootings pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder, according to local reports.
  • Robert Aaron Long previously pleaded guilty to charges in connection with four of the killings in exchange for a life sentence.
  • Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said she plans to seek the death penalty in Long’s case.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The suspect in the Atlanta-area spa shootings pleaded not guilty to charges related to the killing spree on Tuesday, according to local reports.

Robert Aaron Long is accused of carrying out a string of shootings at day spas in and around Atlanta in March that left eight people dead, six of them Asian women.

Long faces charges in Fulton County District Court for the murders of four Asian women at two neighboring spas on Piedmont Road in Atlanta: Soon C. Park, 74, Hyun Jung Grant, 51, Suncha Kim, 69 and Yong A. Yue, 63. He also faces charges for assault with a deadly weapon, domestic terrorism and possession of a firearm while committing a felony for the shootings in Fulton County, according to the criminal indictment.

Long previously pleaded guilty to charges connected to four of the killings in Cherokee County, Georgia, where the first of the shootings took place. He was handed four life sentences plus an additional 35 years in a deal that allowed him to avoid the death penalty there.

However, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is seeking the death penalty as a sentence enhancement under Georgia’s hate crime law, WSB-TV reported.

Atlanta police and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office previously said that Long had confessed to all the shootings, claiming that he had a sex addiction that he blamed for the acts.

“It’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,” Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department said at the time.

Willis announced earlier this year that she is seeking the death penalty because the crime was based on race and gender, according to WSB-TV.

“I don’t want our victims to get lost. These were all women who worked and lived in our community,” Willis said at the time.

As Insider’s Haven Orecchio-Egresitz and Irene Jiang reported, the shootings sparked a national conversation about the sexualization of Asian women and anti-Asian hate.

Long’s next expected court date is on November 23.