Kansas City man who shot gay teen eight times in barbaric hate crime jailed for 22 years

Malachi Robinson sentenced to 22 years for shooting gay teenager eight times in hate crime attack

A man has been sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison after shooting a gay teen eight times in Kansas City, Missouri in a 2019 hate crime.

Malachi Robinson, 25, pled guilty after he lured a 16-year-old boy, who survived the attack, into a wooded area of the city and shot him several times.

The victim, identified only as MS, claimed he suffered “serious and lingering injuries” from the 2019 attack, spending two weeks in the hospital and undergoing multiple surgeries. He reportedly still has bullets inside his body.

Robinson was sentenced for the attack on Thursday (20 April) after pleading guilty to using the gun to “willfully injure” the teen because of his sexuality, The New York Times reported.

Court documents showed that Robinson met the victim on 29 May 2019 at a branch of the Kansas City Public Library; the teen then asked about Robinson’s sexual orientation and suggested that they meet up in the library bathroom.

The two later went to a wooded area, reportedly looking for a place to engage in a sex act; after MS changed his mind and went to leave, Robinson shot the teen eight times, including three times in the chest.

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‘Crimes that have no place in our country’

A judge sentenced Robinson to 262 months in federal prison without parole for violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a law which expands protections for victims of violent hate crimes. 

“This defendant is being held accountable for violently attempting to end the life of someone because of his sexual orientation,” assistant attorney general Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s civil rights division said in a statement.

“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.”

FBI data released in March showed an “alarming rise” in hate crimes in the United States in recent years, the Guardian reported.

The data showed a jump of nearly 12 per cent in hate crimes in 2021, with the majority of victims targeted due to their race, and 16 per cent targeted due to sexual orientation.

“We are in a unique and disturbing era where hate crimes overall stay elevated for longer, punctuated by broken records,” Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University-San Bernardino commented.

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