Georgia shootings: White man pleads guilty to hate crime

December 17, 2022 GMT

ATLANTA (AP) — A suburban Atlanta man has pleaded guilty to a hate crime after officials say he shot into two convenience stores in 2021, targeting Black people and those of Arab descent.

Larry Edward Foxworth, a 48-year-old Jonesboro resident, pleaded guilty in Atlanta on Friday to committing a hate crime and firing a gun during a violent crime. No one in the stores was injured in the shootings.

Foxworth and prosecutors agreed under the plea to recommend a sentence of 20 to 25 years to U.S. District Judge Mark Cohen. The judge is scheduled to sentence Foxworth on March 16. The gun charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, and both charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Prosecutors said that Foxworth fired multiple rounds from a Glock pistol through a window and a door of a gas station on a main thoroughfare in the predominantly Black suburb of Clayton County at 2:35 a.m. on July 30, 2021. Then prosecutors say that Foxworth went around the corner to fire multiple shots again into a different gas station. Both stores were open and had people inside when Foxworth fired the shots, but no one was injured.

Clayton County police arrested Foxworth shortly after the second attack. Foxworth confessed to police that he was trying to kill Black and Arab people, saying that he is a white supremacist. Foxworth’s defense attorney tried to have those statements suppressed before his plea.

Foxworth was indicted on four counts in May.

“No one should have to live in fear of being targeted for deadly violence because they are Black or Arab American,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “This defendant, who professed support for a white supremacist organization, is being held accountable for an abhorrent act of violence motivated by race and national origin.”