Georgia Couple Arrested for Racial Threats

Skylar Hampton

Georgia Couple Arrested for Racial Threats

On July 25, 2015, Jose Torres and Kayla Norton joined a large group

of people and paraded through a neighborhood in Douglas County, Georgia,

waving Confederate flags and screaming racial slurs.

On the day of the incident, an African American family was hosting a

birthday party for a young child. The party was unexpectedly interrupted by

these people, most of which belong to a group called “Respect the Flag”.

This group was designed to allow individuals to petition the right to fly the

Confederate Flag.

On the day of the incident, Torres and Norton were witnessed driving

by and screaming terrorist-like threats towards the victim’s home. A day of

grilling hotdogs and hamburgers turned sour very quickly when this group

appeared. Torres was reported holding a shotgun out the window and

threatening the lives of both the adults and the children.

The couple, along with about a dozen other group members, were

arrested on the scene.

Yesterday, February 27, Torres and Norton had their final sentencing.

Torres was sentenced to 20 years, with 13 years in prison. He was found

guilty on three counts of aggravated assault, one count of making terroristic

threats, and one count of violating a Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and

Prevention Act.

Norton was sentenced to 15 years, with 6 years in prison. She was

found guilty on the same charges, minus the aggravated assault charges.

Hyesha Bryant was one of the victims who attended the birthday

party. She testified against the couple in court, telling them “What you said

affected my life. It affected my children’s lives.”

Video footage from court shows Norton crying and apologizing to the

victims and the jury. She continued to tell the judge that she is not that type

of person and apologizes for her behavior. At the conclusion of the hearing,

Bryant told Norton that she forgave her and the rest of her companions.

Following the couples release, they will be banned from Douglas

County. Melissa Alford, the host of the birthday party, told reporters that

what was said has really affected her, but that she believes justice was

served.

Fifteen other members of the “Respect the Flag” group were indicted

on the day of the incident, but the status of their cases is unknown.