By Christine Hauser with The New York Times
As he waited for a pot of water to boil, Martin Blackwell had plenty of time to change his mind. But instead, he went ahead with what a judge in Georgia said was a “soulless” decision to throw the scalding water over two gay men sleeping on a mattress, burning them so severely that one was put into an induced coma at the hospital and both required skin grafts.
Noting the minutes Mr. Blackwell waited for the water to boil, the Superior Court judge, Henry Newkirk, told him, “You had so many outs where the voice of reason could have taken over,” according to The Associated Press.
On Wednesday, a jury in Fulton County, Ga., found Mr. Blackwell guilty of multiple counts of assault and battery for dousing the men in February. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison, the maximum allowed under state law, Dontaye Carter, a spokesman with the district attorney’s office, said on Thursday.