ATLANTA, Ga — A Georgia man who threw boiled water on a gay couple has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

A jury convicted Martin Blackwell on Wednesday of eight counts of aggravated battery and two counts of aggravated assault in the attack that left Anthony Gooden and Marquez Tolbert with severe burns that required multiple surgeries.

The 48-year-old Blackwell was a long-distance trucker and stayed with his girlfriend, Kim Foster, when he was in town. Gooden was Foster’s son.

Gooden and his boyfriend were sleeping in bed at an apartment in College Park when Blackwell poured boiled water on them in February.

Prosecutors say it was a vicious, premeditated attack, and that Blackwell told one of the men “get out of my house with all that gay” after pouring hot water on the couple.

Blackwell’s defense attorney acknowledged he poured water on the pair and said he deserved to be punished, but the lawyer asked jurors to find that it was reckless conduct.

Tolbert says he is happy with the court’s decision.

“More people than that were in my corner…it made me feel really good and actually helped me heal,” he says.

Tolbert says although it will be difficult, he does plan to forgive Blackwell.