ATLANTA – The FBI has decided not to pursue hate crime charges against a Georgia man found guilty of throwing scalding water on a sleeping gay couple.
Martin Blackwell was sentenced to 40 years in prison this week for aggravated assault and aggravated battery.
The FBI opened a hate crime investigation after the February attack. But spokesman Kevin Rowson said Friday that with Blackwell sentenced in state court, the agency decided not to pursue the case.
Two U.S. representatives said Friday that Blackwell should face a federal trial anyway, since Georgia lacks a hate crime law.
The 48-year-old long-distance trucker was staying with his girlfriend, Kim Foster, when he poured scalding water on her son and his boyfriend as they slept. Both men suffered extensive burns requiring multiple surgeries.