Martin Blackwell will spend the rest of his natural life behind bars after Superior Court judge Henry Newkirk sentenced him to 40 years in prison Wednesday (August 25) for pouring scolding hot water on two gay men sleeping on a mattress.
Taking into consideration the minutes it took for the water to boil, the judge said Blackwell had ample time to rethink his decision. “You had so many outs where the voice of reason could have taken over,” he said. A jury found Blackwell guilty of multiple counts of assault and battery for pouring the water on the two men, handing down the maximum sentence under Georgia law.
According to the New York Times, 21-year-old Marquez Tolbert and his boyfriend 24-year-old Anthony Gooden were lying in bed together in Gooden’s mother’s College Park apartment back in February. Blackwell and Gooden’s mother dated, so he often stayed at the home. Tolbert then told a local station that he woke up to 48-year-old Blackwell dousing him and Gooden with water.
“Once the water hit, I smacked the wall and then shot out of bed,” Tolbert said. Tolbert then said Blackwell told them, “ ‘Get out of my house with all that gay sh*t .’ ”
Tolbert told investigators he spent 10 days in the hospital receiving skin grafts for the burn on his back, arms and neck. Gooden, who was also badly burned, had to be treated for about a month, which included being placed in induced coma.
A police report indicates Blackwell didn’t deny his crime, and told investigators he poured the water on the men at about 9PM because he wanted them to stop sleeping with one another.
“They’ll be alright,” he told investigators. “It was just a little hot water on them.”