True crime

19-year-old man convicted of killing two gay men and trans woman

Devon Robinson
Devon Robinson (Photo: Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office)

A teenager in Detroit has been convicted of killing two gay men and a trans woman.

A jury in Wayne County found Devon Kareem Robinson guilty of the triple homicide, which took place last May. Prosecutors believe the sexuality and gender identity of the victims a motivating factor in the killings.

Robinson fired multiple shots at his victims: 21-year-old Alunte Davis, and 20-year-olds Timothy Blancher and Paris Cameron, a trans woman.

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The killings took place at around 5am on May 25th at a home on Devonshire on Detroit’s east side. It followed a house party earlier in the night. Around 15 people attended the party and Robinson also injured two others present.

Robinson was found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder, assault with intent to murder and felony firearm in the killings.

A survivor testified in November at a preliminary examination that Robinson had sprayed the living room of the house with so many bullets that blood from the victims had seeped through the walls.

He said that the victims had met Robinson at a nearby gas station, with Cameron inviting him back to the party. There, Robinson admits he engaged in sexual acts with Cameron. Other witnesses say he also allowed others to perform oral sex on him.

He later left the party. He then returned an hour later, wearing a mask and armed with a gun, and started shooting.

Special prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz asserted that Robinson went on the rampage to get rid of anyone who had witnessed him engaged with sexual activity with gay men and a trans woman. In closing arguments, Horowitz said the crime was not just about hate, but “self-hate.”

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Robinson’s attorney had said his client was not guilty, claiming he had no “reason in the world” to kill anyone and that the murderer had worn a mask, so no-one could positively identify Robinson as the killer.

After the killings, CCTV footage captured Robinson again at the gas station, dry heaving and spitting. He fled his home the next morning and was picked up by police following a tip-off.

He will be sentenced on April 13 and faces life in prison without parole.