A group of terrorists – because that’s exactly what they are – are now seeing the consequences of their actions after targeting a child’s birthday party with Confederate flags, threats and firearms.
Jose “Joe” Torres was sentenced to 13 years in prison 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 on Monday, according to CNN.
Kayla Norton, Torres’ partner, was sentenced to six years in prison on one count of making terroristic threats and one count of violation of the Street Gang Act.
“Many people tried to make the case about simply flying the Confederate Battle Flag,” Douglas County District Attorney Brian Fortner said in a statement. “This case was about a group of people riding around our community, drinking alcohol, harassing and intimidating our citizens because of the color of their skin.”
Torres and Norton reportedly joined a convoy of about a dozen vehicles that drove around Douglas County on July 25, 2015 when they came across a group of people celebrating. The group, which included members of an organization called “Respect the Flag,” reportedly drove past yelling a series of racial slurs. Things then escalated as Torres and others confronted the citizens.
“Torres, who had 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 co-defendants stated that ‘the little ones can get one too,’ referring to the young children at the party,” read a statement posted on the district attorney’s Facebook.
Norton allegedly made similar threats and Torres claimed that he grabbed the shotgun to protect his companions as he feared for their safety.
During the sentencing, Torres and Norton both broke down and took time to apologize to the victims. However, they continued to claim they weren’t the ones responsible for the racist, completely unprovoked threat on the lives of children.