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In Hopkinton, Mass., the Rally & Run To Stop Asian Hate is held to show solidarity in the wake of deadly Atlanta shootings and to mourn the loss of eight lives including six Asian women. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Prosecutors unveiled murder charges against the white man accused of shooting and killing eight people, six of whom were Asian women, at Atlanta-area spas, AP reports.

Driving the news: A prosecutor filed notice that she plans to seek hate crime charges and the death penalty in the case. Two separate grand juries have now indicted the suspect on murder charges.

A Fulton County grand jury indicted Robert Aaron Long, 22, in the killings of Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant and Yong Ae Yue.

  • Long faces:
    • Four counts of murder
    • Four counts of felony murder
    • Five counts of assault with a deadly weapon
    • Four counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony
    • One count of domestic terrorism
  • Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis filed notice that she plans to seek hate crime charges based on actual or perceived race, national origin, sex and gender, per AP.

A separate grand jury in Cherokee County indicted Long on counts related to the shooting spree that killed Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Yaun and Paul Michels. It's not yet known whether the county's district attorney intends to pursue hate crime charges.

  • Long faces:
    • Four counts of malice murder
    • Four counts of felony murder
    • One count of criminal attempt to commit murder
    • 11 counts of aggravated assault
    • One count of aggravated battery
    • One count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony
    • One count of criminal damage to property

What to watch: The high-profile case could test the state's new hate crimes law, which was signed into law last year.

  • According to Georgia law, a hate crime cannot be charged on its own. Only after a person is convicted of an underlying crime can a jury decide the merits of such a charge, which carries an additional penalty.

The big picture: The shootings, which came amid a yearlong spike in anti-Asian hate, increased fear among Asian Americans and sparked outcry across the country.

  • In 16 of the United States' largest cities and counties, reports of anti-Asian hate crimes have surged 164% since this time last year, according to a recent study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State University San Bernardino.
  • In April, the Senate passed a rare bipartisan bill to address anti-Asian hate. The House is expected to take up its version of the legislation in May.

Go deeper: The centuries-long history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with Robert Aaron Long's indictment in Cherokee County.

Go deeper

LAPD officer who shot disabled man charged with manslaughter

Photo: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

The California attorney general’s office announced Monday that it filed manslaughter and assault charges against a former Los Angeles police officer who shot and killed a man with an intellectual disability at a Costco in 2019.

Driving the news: Although the officer, Salvador Sanchez, was fired from the LAPD in 2019, a grand jury at the time chose not to criminally indict him, the Washington Post reports.

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.