2 people sentenced for Confederate flag confrontation

- Two people convicted in a Confederate flag confrontation at a child’s birthday party have been sentenced to years in prison.

In July 2015, just weeks after the Charleston church massacre, a large group of people drove up to a birthday party in Douglasville in trucks, flying American, military and Confederate flags.

The child’s mother, Melissa Alford, said the group walked up to her property and threatened her family.

The people accused in the case said the confrontation started when someone at the party threw an object at one of the trucks, but the mother’s accusations and video of the incident were enough to charge two people, Kayla Norton and Jose Torres, with violating Georgia’s street-gang terrorism law.

Monday morning, a judge sentenced Torres to 20 years in prison, with 13 to serve. Norton was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with six to serve.

“If you drive around town with a Confederate flag, yelling the 'N' word, you know how it’s going to be interpreted,” Judge William McClain said. “It’s inexplicable to me that you weren’t arrested by the police that day.

“What happened to you and your child was wrong,” Norton told the Alfords Monday morning. “I accept responsibility and I’m so, so sorry.”

Judge McClain told the defendants that families have a right to celebrate a child’s birthday party in peace.

“You have to be held accountable,” the judge said.

Norton and Torres were both in tears as they looked at their families while being escorted out of the courtroom. 

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