News Briefs: Spa shooter plea deal; Fulton election takeover; Krispy Kreme to be demolished

The gunman who murdered eight people on March 16 at spas in Cherokee County and Atlanta pled guilty to the four deaths at the Young Asian Massage in Woodstock and received four life sentences. Robert Aaron Long, 22, is still to be arraigned in Fulton County, where District Attorney Fani Willis has already indicated she will seek the death penalty for the four murders at Gold Massage Spa and Aromatherapy Spa on Piedmont Road. While Cherokee prosecutors did not pursue hate crime charges, Willis said she will. Six of the eight victims were Asian women. Long is set to be arraigned in Fulton County on Aug. 23.

Fulton County Commission Chairman Rob Pitts spoke out against a possible “hostile takeover” of the county’s election board by state Republicans still outraged by former President Donald Trump’s loss to Joe Biden. “The basis for all this is partisan politics and appeasing those who buy into the Big Lie,” Pitts said, using the term widely used by Democrats to describe Trump’s false accusations of widespread voter fraud. Pitts  asked for anyone with proof of widespread wrongdoing in the Fulton election to bring it forward. “Put up or shut up,” Pitts said. Gov. Brian Kemp signed controversial legislation earlier this year, which is now the subject a federal lawsuit, that would allow the state election board to take over a county’s elections. Pitts said if the GOP was allowed to take over Fulton’s elections they could do it to any county in the state. “I can’t let them get away with this in broad daylight without a fight,” Pitts said. Watch the full press conference above.

The burned out remains of the Krispy Kreme location on Ponce de Leon Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward will be demolished, according to a report in the AJC. The iconic doughnut shop, a fixture on Ponce for more than 50 years, was torched by a suspected arsonist in February. A second fire of unknown origin  broke out inside the shuttered building on July 7 damaging it beyond repair, according to reports. The franchise owner, basketball star and entrepreneur Shaquille O’Neal, pledged to reopen the location after the February fire.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley is the editor of Atlanta Intown.