US couple who terrorized black child’s party sentenced to decades in jail

Jose Torres, left, weeps in his seat while during his sentencing at the Douglas County Courthouse in Douglasville, Ga., Monday, Feb. 27, 2017.

A US judge jailed a couple on Monday for terrorizing a black child’s birthday party, carrying Confederate flags, and shouting racial slurs and threats, US media reported.

The incident happened on July 25, 2015 where Kayla Rae Norton, 25, and Joe Ismael Torres, 26, who are part of a group called ‘Respect the flag’, rode in a convoy of trucks waving the confederate-flag around Douglas Country, in Georgia, Atlanta.

In a video that was released from the birthday party, a parade of trucks are seen racing past draped in the flags, which are generally associated with racism. In the footage, one person is heard shouting racist abuse, while witnesses at the scene said another had a gun and said he was going to “kill the n*****s.”

Superior Court Judge, William McClain, condemned the accused for carrying out what he labelled as a “hate crime”. McClain sentenced 25 to 15 years – with six years to serve, while Torres was sentenced 20 years with 13 years to serve.

Upon their release, Judge McClain ordered that they would be banished from Douglas County. According to McClain “their actions were motivated by racial hatred.”

Melissa Alford, who hosted the birthday party, said she still feels confused and emotional about what happened, but said she believes justice was served.

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