Jurors on Wednesday took only eight minutes to deliberate the case of Martin Blackwell, a 48-year-old Georgia man accused of pouring hot water over his girlfriend’s son and his partner as they slept.
Blackwell was sentenced to 40 years in prison and found guilty of eight counts of aggravated battery and two counts of aggravated assault, according to CBS. The victims, Anthony Gooden and Marquez Tolbert, watched from the courtroom, still visibly nursing wounds from the May incident. Gooden is the son of Blackwell’s girlfriend, Kim Foster.
According to CBS, on February 12, Blackwell walked into the room where Gooden and Tolbert slept and poured a large pot of boiling water over the men. Prosecution lawyers say that as Tolbert jumped up howling in pain, Blackwell grabbed him saying, “get out of my house with all that gay.”
Lawyers for Blackwell acknowledge that he in fact commit the act, but say that his gesture did not come from a place of hate, rather saying Blackwell felt “disrespected” by the men’s relationship.
“It’s not about hate. It’s about old-school culture, old-school thinking,” Monique Walker, Blackwell’s attorney, told the jury.
The prosecution countered saying that Blackwell premeditated the full the extent of his actions. The prosecution also alleged that Blackwell often made offensive comments in the household, asking personal questions about sex, using derogatory names.
Both of them men told their horrific story of recovery. Gooden said he spent almost one month in the hospital–two of the weeks he was in a medically induced coma. Tolbert said he spent a total of 10 days hospitalized. They both suffered severe burns and required skin repair surgeries using skin grafts.
CBS reports that Georgia doesn’t have a hate crime law, but the FBI launched a hate crime investigation, regarding the incident, in March.