Man Sentenced To 40 Years For Throwing Hot Water On Gay Couple
Martin Blackwell, an Atlanta truck driver, will spend 40 years in prison for throwing a pot of boiling water on a gay couple, Marquez Tolbert and Anthony Gooden . The incident happened in February, when the couple was asleep on a mattress at the home of Gooden's mother.
After deliberating for one and a half hours, the jury convicted Blackwell on Wednesday for eight counts of aggravated battery and two counts of aggravated assault, sentencing him to 40 years in prison as reported by the Associated Press
Ironically, much as it is a hate crime, Blackwell, 48, wasn't charged with hate crime because the state of Georgia don't have hate crime laws. But according to an FBI spokesman, they are deliberating whether to charge him with a federal hate crime.
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Before the attack, Gooden had just come out of the closet to his family. Tolbert and Gooden were sleeping next to each other on a mattress in the living room when Blackwell, who normally stays at Gooden's mum's home while in town came in, saw them dead asleep next to each other. He then went to the kitchen, boiled the water then hurled the scalding water over the couple.
“I woke up to the most unimaginable pain in my entire life. I’m wondering why I’m in so much pain. I’m wondering why I’m wet. I don’t understand what’s going on,” Tolbert testified, sobbing in between.
According to Tolbert, Blackwelll then yanked him from the mattress yelling: "Get out of my house with all that gay."
“They were stuck together like two hot dogs … so I poured a little hot water on them and helped them out... They’ll be alright. It was just a little hot water", Blackwell told the police. As Blackwell puts it, he found them having sex. But according to a friend of Tolbert's that wasn't the case. They were just exhausted so they just slept.
Gooden was severely burnt to the point of being put in a medically induced coma for weeks, with more than 60% of his body burned. They had to do a skin grafting surgery to repair damage to his face, neck, back, arms, chest and head.
For the next two years, Tolbert must wear compression garments 23 hours a day. He is also attending is attending physical therapy and weekly counseling sessions to deal with both his physical and emotional trauma. Going under the sun exacerbates the burn pains.
The men had been dating for about six weeks before the burns were inflicted on them.
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