A Georgia man who poured boiling hot water on a sleeping gay couple has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Martin Blackwell, a 48-year-old trucker from Atlanta in the US, was sentenced after a jury found him guilty on Wednesday.
Victims Anthony Gooden and Marquez Tolbert were sleeping on a mattress in Mr Gooden’s mum’s living room when the attack happened.
Blackwall was dating the mother of one of the victims at the time. His lawyer said he did it because he felt their behavior was disrespectful and that he often made inappropriate comments to members of the household.
According to the Washington Post, Blackwell said to police,“They were stuck together like two hot dogs … so I poured a little hot water on them and help them out.”
“… They’ll be alright. It was just a little hot water.”
He was not charged with a hate crime as Georgia is one of five states that does not recognise it.
During his trial, Blackwell’s attorney Monique Walker tried to downplay the crime, telling the court: “It’s one act. It caused injury. It was distasteful, it was disrespectful. But it was not deadly. It was not intentional.”
Gooden and Tolbert were severely burned in the attack and said in court they still required assistance in many aspects of their lives months later. Tolbert spent two weeks in a medically induced coma and required skin grafts and Gooden has been in therapy for both physical and psychological matters ever since.