KC man pleads guilty to federal hate crime, shot teen 8 times

Convicted of shooting teen because of sexual orientation
Kc Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Hate Crime Shot Teen 8 Times
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City man pleads guilty in federal court today to committing a hate crime.

According to the US Dept. of Justice Western District of Missouri, Malachi Robinson shot a local teenager 8 times in an attempted murder that was motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation.

Robinson, 26, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. He has been in federal custody since his indictment by a federal grand jury on August 10, 2021. The Attorney’s Office states Robinson will remain in federal detention until his sentencing hearing, which has not been scheduled.

“By pleading guilty today, Robinson admitted that he shot the victim, identified in court records as “M.S.,” approximately eight times with a Taurus 9mm pistol in an attempt to kill him because of his sexual orientation, causing life-threatening injuries.” – US Dept. of Justice

The Crime

According to today’s plea agreement, after a chance meeting at the Kansas City Public Library on May 29, 2019, Robinson and M.S. talked briefly over Facebook Messenger before leaving the library.

According to the Department of Justice, Robinson then walked with M.S. in the Swope Park area under the guise of looking for a place to engage in a sex act. Around the same time, Robinson wrote separately to his girlfriend that he “might shoot this boy” because of his sexual orientation.

When Robinson and M.S. ultimately entered a wooded area nearby, Robinson pulled out his pistol and fired repeatedly at M.S.

Robinson fled through the woods toward his apartment building, and continued to engage in attempts to avoid detection or arrest. Later that day, and in the days that followed, Robinson told others that he shot M.S. because of his sexual orientation.

“Violence against others, motivated by hatred of their sexual orientation, is unacceptable,” said U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore of the Western District of Missouri. “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.”

“As today’s plea indicates, any act of violence motivated by bias, hate or discrimination toward anyone is not only reprehensible but will not be tolerated by any law enforcement agency and is unwelcome in our country,” said Special Agent in Charge Charles Dayoub of the FBI’s Kansas City Field Office. “Every individual has the right to live without fear of being attacked or harassed regardless of their sexual orientation. The FBI is committed to protecting those rights and will aggressively investigate those who violate them.”

“This defendant is being held accountable for violently attempting to end the life of someone because of his sexual orientation,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “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. The Justice Department will continue to use our civil rights laws to pursue justice for survivors and others impacted by bias motivated crimes.”

Sentencing

Under federal statutes, Robinson is subject to a sentence of up to life in federal prison without parole. The Court will determine the sentence of the defendant based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors, according to the US Dept. of Justice.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dave Ketchmark with the Western District of Missouri and Trial Attorneys Shan Patel and Eric Peffley of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice prosecuted this case. The Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the FBI investigated.