Video footage from the party, little more than a month after Dylann Roof’s Charleston church massacre, shows a parade of trucks roaring by with Confederate flags flying.
One person is heard shouting the n-word, while witnesses said that another had a gun sand said “he was gonna kill the n—–s.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quotes Superior Court Judge William McClain saying that Torres and 25-year-old Norton, 25, had committed a hate crime. Upon their release, judge McClain further ordered,the pair should be permanently banished from Douglas County.
Kayla Norton who has children with Torres was sentenced 15 years also for for terrorizing the black child’s birthday party with confederate flags
Assistant DA David Emadi told the court, the group had gone on a drunken, two-county rampage in pick-up trucked laden with Confederate battle flags through Paulding and Douglas counties over July 24 and 25, 2015.
ADA Emadi said the group heckled and threatened African-American motorists, yelled at them and walked up to one of their cars with a gun. They also threatened African American shoppers at a Paulding County Walmart and at a convenience store.“
Many good people in Paulding County saw you for what you are,” Judge McClain said before he handed down the sentence. “Everywhere you went 911 call centers were flooded with calls.”McClain then quoted one of the callers.‘“I want to report a hate crime,’” he said.
In the immediate aftermath of the South Carolina church massacre by Dylan Roof, several states across the South began removing Confederate flags from municipal buildings and spaces.
Those removals triggered a backlash from flag proponents, who rallied around their embattled symbol. Into that climate Torres, Norton and the 13 others left their rally, flags streaming from their convoy of pickup trucks, and happened upon Alford’s party. The ensuing confrontation was captured on cellphone video.
Alford told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the time that “if they want to make a statement that these flags mean something to them, I’m OK with that. But you’ve got to do it right. You can’t go around just blatantly terrorizing people.”
Another member of that convoy, Thomas Charles Summers, earlier pled guilty to making terrorist threats and battery charges. Summers, 46, is now serving a four-year prison sentence. Another supremacist from the group, Lacey Paul Henderson II, 38, also pled guilty to making terrorist threats and is serving a two-year sentence.
Attendees of the birthday party said that those in the trucks shouted the n-word at them.
Douglas County District Attorney Brian Fortner noted in a statement that the cases against Torres, Norton and other defendants are not based on their right to fly a Confederate flag, but on threats against the victims.
“This is behavior that even supporters of the Confederate battle flag can agree is criminal and shouldn’t be allowed,” Fortner said .
Torres and Norton are the latest to be sentenced out of 15 people in the “Respect the Flag” group indicted by a grand jury for on street gang terrorism charges for the birthday party disruption incident.
Some of the others said to have been “minimally involved,” pled to misdemeanor offenses and were put into diversion programs requiring them to do community service.
The supremacists claimed the victims had thrown objects at them,