A Georgia couple received 19 years in prison and 15 more years on probation for their part in a 2015 racist attack on a black family celebrating an 8-year-old boy’s birthday.
The attack took place amid an outcry from many on the left against the Confederate flag, prompted by white supremacist Dylann Roof killing nine black worshipers at a South Carolina church several weeks earlier, NBC News reported.
More from NBC News:
The Georgia group called itself Respect the Flag, and prior to the attack was seen driving in a convoy of trucks flying rebel flags, shouting threats at black people, authorities said.
The two sentenced Monday, Jose Torres and Kayla Norton, who authorities said yelled racist slurs and threatened the birthday revelers with a shotgun, were the last of the group to be sentenced.
The couple was prosecuted under the state’s Street Gang Terrorism law and Superior Court Judge William McClain not only handed down a stiff sentence, he banished the pair from Douglas County, which is just west of Atlanta.
Torres was convicted of aggravated assault, making terroristic threats and a violating street-gang statute, NBC News reported, and got 13 years in prison and seven years on probation. Norton was convicted of making terroristic threats and violating the gang law, receiving a sentence of 6 years in prison and nine on probation.
Norton and Torres have three children together, and she tearfully spoke to the victims in the courtroom “mother to mother,” The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
“I do accept responsibility for what I’ve done,” Norton said. “What happened to you is absolutely awful. From mother to mother, I cannot imagine having to explain what that word means.”
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