Couple sobs in court over sentence for terrorizing black child’s birthday

Jose Torres and Kayla Norton, a Georgia couple that had been part of a group of Confederate flag-waving people who terrorized a black child’s birthday party just a month after Dylann Roof shot nine churchgoers in a racially motivated attack on a Charleston church, sobbed when their sentences were being passed down.

Torres was sentenced to 20 years, 13 of which he will spend in prison; Norton was sentenced to 15 years, 6 of which she will serve in prison.

The sentences were one year longer than what the state had been seeking despite the fact that, as Atlanta’s WSB-TV reported, attorneys for Torres and Norton “pled for lighter sentencing, saying that two other defendants, Thomas Charles Summers and Lacey Paul Henderson II, had pled guilty to terroristic threat and battery charges and received lighter sentences that Norton and Torres were facing. Summers is serving four years in prison and Henderson is serving two.”

But even as Norton and Torres sobbed their hearts out, the judge was unmoved.

“This is behavior that even supporters of the Confederate battle flag can agree is criminal and shouldn’t be allowed,” said Superior Court Judge William McClain.

“Their actions were motivated by racial hatred,” the judge said.