Ga. Couple Get Prison for Confederate Racist Terror at Black Child’s Birthday Party

Kayla Norton and Joe Torres (Douglas County, Ga., Sheriff’s Office)
Kayla Norton and Joe Torres (Douglas County, Ga., Sheriff’s Office)

Because there is still a little justice left in this world, a Georgia couple reportedly broke down in tears Monday after being sentenced to prison for their involvement in a 2015 racist incident in which a group they were a part of waved Confederate flags, shouted racial slurs, and made armed threats at adults and children attending a black child’s birthday party.


Jose Torres, 26, and Kayla Norton, 25, were sentenced to 20 years and 15 years of prison time, respectively, for their participation in the July 2015 incident.

The couple were part of a group of Confederate flag supporters called “Respect the Flag that lost.” For two days that summer, the group of about 15 rode around terrorizing and threatening black families while using racial slurs and pointing firearms across two counties in the Atlanta suburbs, ABC News reports.


It’s worth noting that their acts of terror occurred shortly after the Charleston, S.C., black-church massacre, since the Confederate-flag group members were apparently upset that South Carolina had responded by removing the Confederate battle flag from its Statehouse.

The group targeted a black child’s birthday party, where members allegedly threatened to kill partygoers. Torres confronted the family with a gun that Norton had loaded.

Both were ultimately caught and charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, and violation of Georgia’s Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.

“They repeatedly yelled death threats, saying they were going to [be] killing all the niggers. They said, ‘We’ll blow the heads off all the little bitches and the little niggers can get one, too,’” Assistant District Attorney David Emadi told Judge William McClain during the sentencing hearing, Fox 5 Atlanta reports.


The judge slammed the couple’s actions, denouncing them as “motivated by racial hatred,” ABC notes.

While sobbing what must have been the most delicious of white tears, Norton addressed the relatives of the child whose birthday they ruined, swearing that “that is not me.”


“That is not me. That is not him,” Norton said in court. “I would never walk up to you and say those words to you. And I am so sorry that happened to you.”

Right. That’s what they always say when they get caught.

Anyway, the judge wasn’t having any of it and went so far as to ban the couple from entering Douglas County after their release, according to ABC News.


“If you drive around town with a Confederate flag, yelling the n-word, you know how it’s going to be interpreted,” McClain said, according to Fox 5 Atlanta. “It’s inexplicable to me that you weren’t arrested by the police that day.

In the end, Torres was sentenced to 20 years with 13 to serve, while Norton was sentenced to 15 years with six to serve. Thomas Summers, 46, and Lacey Henderson, 38, both accepted plea deals and are serving four years and two years in prison respectively, Fox5Atlanta reports, while the other defendants were charged with misdemeanors and ordered to do community service.


Read more at ABC News and Fox 5 Atlanta.

News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



“That is not me. That is not him,” Norton said in court.

But it is! YOU did it! HE did it!

“I would never walk up to you and say those words to you.”

But you did! OK, you didn’t walk, you drove, but...c’mon.

And I am so sorry that happened to you.”

It didn’t “happen” to them, you caused it to happen! You were part of it.

So much bullshitt to unpack.