As part of a plea deal, a man from Missouri has pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime after he shot a queer teen eight times.
The incident took place on May 29, 2019. Malachi Robinson, 26, of Kansas City, met the teen, referred to only as MS in court documents, at a branch of the Kansas City Public Library.
They got talking, and the MS asked Robinson if he could add him as a Facebook friend.
Via Facebook messenger, MS then asked Robinson about his sexual orientation and suggested they hook up in the bathroom.
Robinson replied that he was not gay but would allow the teen to perform oral sex on him for $5 outside the library.
They left and walked to the Swope Park area. At the same time, Robinson texted his girlfriend screenshots of what was going on, saying he might “Might shoot this boy if he try some gay shit.”
They arrived at a wooded area and MS made to leave before anything sexual occurred. That’s when Robinson shot him: three times in the chest, three times in his right arm, once in his left buttocks, and once in his right hand.
The teen survived after spending two weeks in hospital. He is still undergoing treatment for the injuries he sustained.
Robinson later wrote on a Facebook message to someone else, saying, “I shot a nigga … He was being gay af and following me like a mf.”
Robinson also googled questions, such as “How to know if the police are looking for you,” “When will police arrest you after a murder,” and “How to get away with murder in real life.” He also took steps to change his appearance.
Robinson was arrested in June 2019 and has been in custody since that time. He yesterday pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. He admitted to shooting his victim with a 9mm pistol in an attempted murder. Missouri does not have a gay panic defense ban, but Robinson’s guilty plea makes a lengthy jail sentence likely.
He will be sentenced on December 15 and potentially faces life without parole.
“Violence against others, motivated by hatred of their sexual orientation, is unacceptable,” said U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore of the Western District of Missouri in a statement. “Such callous disregard for the life of a teenage victim, gravely wounded in a failed murder attempt, must be challenged by a commitment to protect the civil rights of all our citizens. When those rights are threatened, the Justice Department will act to hold the violators accountable.”
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division added, “This attempted murder is a reminder that hate crimes against the LGBTQI+ community are real and must be confronted. Violent acts targeting people based on their sexual orientation are heinous crimes that have no place in our country.”