On July 25, 2015, Joe Torres and Kayla Norton, joined about a dozen other people in a convoy of pickup trucks waving large Confederate flags as they drove around Douglas County, a suburban Atlanta community. Most of them belonged to a group called “Respect the Flag.”
This was only a few weeks after Dylann Roof attended a prayer service at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, then shot and killed nine people, all African Americans.
The convoy of trucks passed by the victim’s residence where the victims were grilling hot dogs and hamburgers while hosting a child’s birthday party featuring a bouncy castle, snow-cone machines, and a DJ. They yelled racial slurs.
The drivers parked the trucks near the house and the slurs continued. Torres retrieved a shotgun from his vehicle, pointed his shotgun at the group of African American party-goers and stated he was going to kill them while his friends stated that “the little ones can get one too,” referring to the young children at the party.
Norton was accused of making similar threats. The victims said some member of Torres’ group was armed with a knife and a tire tool.
Most of the group was arrested and made some sort of plea deal. But Torres and Norton were sentenced yesterday. Torres was sentenced to 20 years, with 13 years in prison, after a jury convicted him on three counts of aggravated assault, one count of making terroristic threats and one count of violating of Georgia’s Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act. Kayla Norton was sentenced to 15 years, with six years in prison. She was convicted on one count of making terroristic threats and one count of violation of the Street Gang Act.
Look how sad they are.
I suspect they weren’t sad until they actually got caught.
At the sentencing hearing, Kayla Norton apologized for her role in the incident saying, “I want you all to know that is not me. That is not me, that is not him. I would never walk up to you and say those words to you. I’m so sorry that happened to you. I am so sorry.”
The problem is that she did walk up and say those words.
Oh well. No sympathy here. Actions have consequences. I’m sure they will make many friends among the mixed-race populations in prison.