A Kansas City, Missouri, man pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal hate crime charge after he lured a gay teenager into the woods and shot her.
Malachi Robinson, who has been in custody since June 2019, will be sentenced on December 15. He faces life in prison without parole for violating the Matthew Shepard and James Bird Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
“This attempted murder is a reminder that hate crimes against the LGBTQI+ community are real and must be faced,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said. “Violent acts targeting people on the basis of their sexual orientation are heinous crimes that have no place in our country.”
According to BuzzFeed News, the shooting took place on May 29, 2019, near the Southeast branch of the Kansas City Public Library. The victim, identified in court documents as “MS,” made spontaneous sexual advances toward Robinson—who elicited a violent reaction.
Robinson acknowledged in the plea agreement that the teenager asked if he could add Robinson as a friend on Facebook. The two chatted on Facebook Messenger, where MS inquired about Robinson’s sexual orientation and said they should meet in the library bathroom.
Robinson told MS that he was not gay, but agreed to receive oral sex for $5 and ominously suggested that they meet out. The teen had no idea that Robinson was emailing his girlfriend on Facebook with screenshots of the conversation.
Robinson wrote, “He set me on summon now, was about to unfriend me.” “Might shoot this guy if he tries to do some gay shit.”
Robinson lured the teenager into the woods of nearby Swoop Park. Despite the victim retreating and attempting to leave, Robinson pulled out a Taurus 9mm pistol and shot him eight times. MS was struck thrice in the chest, once in his left buttock, thrice in his right hand and once in his right hand. One finger of the girl was almost amputated.
The victim survived and was hospitalized for nearly two weeks, but his injuries continue to require treatment.
“I shot a s***a,” Robinson wrote in a Facebook message later that week. “He was being gay and was following me like an MF.”
Robinson told his girlfriend and cousins about the attempted murder and justified it by saying that the teen had done “gay ass crap”.
Robinson eventually wrote “How to Get Away from Murder in Real Life” as well as “How to Know If the Police Are Looking for You.” That second question was directly answered when police officers arrested Robinson on June 3, 2019.
Robinson also faces charges at the state level, although a spokesman told KCUR in August 2021 that he would likely be sacked in light of the federal charge.