South Fulton County

Man found guilty in hot water attack on gay men

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — A 48-year-old man who threw boiling water on two gay men while they were sleeping was found guilty Wednesday afternoon.

Marquez Tolbert and Anthony Gooden suffered second and third degree burns from the attack in February.


Both Tolbert and Gooden




Martin Blackwell was convicted on eight counts of aggravated battery and two counts of aggravated assault. Channel 2's Tom Jones says Blackwell had a blank stare on his face as the judge read the verdict.

Blackwell was dating Gooden’s mother at the time of the attack. Prosecutors said Blackwell was upset that two gay men were sleeping together under his roof, and that the attack was premeditated.

Tolbert spent 10 days in the hospital after the attack. Gooden was there for more than a month.

Blackwell was sentenced to 20 years for the aggravated battery charges and 20 years for the aggravated assault charges. He will serve the two sentences consecutively for a total of 40 years.

Tolbert says he’s happy with the verdict and the sentence.

“I’m ecstatic. I mean I think justice has been served so I’m good,” he said. “It made me feel really good and it helped me heal.”

Tolbert says he plans to forgive Blackwell for causing him so much pain.

“It’s gonna be a little difficult I will admit, but I think it will happen,” he said.