© 2022 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kansas City man faces life in prison after pleading guilty to anti-gay hate crime

malachi robinson.jfif
Carlos Moreno
/
KCUR
The victim sustained three gunshot wounds to his chest, three to his right arm, one to his buttocks and one to a finger that “caused it to nearly detach.” The victim somehow survived.

Malachi Robinson admitted he shot a teenage victim eight times with a 9mm pistol in May 2019. Robinson met the victim at a library branch after the victim contacted him via Facebook and offered him money in exchange for a sexual favor.

A 26-year-old Kansas City man faces a possible life sentence after pleading guilty to a federal hate crime in connection with a shooting motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation.

Malachi Robinson entered the plea in federal court Thursday after admitting he shot a teenage victim eight times with a 9mm pistol in May 2019.

A federal grand jury indicted Robinson on the hate crime charge 11 months ago.

According to a probable cause statement filed by a Kansas City police detective, Robinson met the victim at a Kansas City Public Library branch after the victim contacted him via Facebook messenger and offered him money in exchange for a sexual favor.

The two left the library and went for a walk. After Robinson went into some bushes and the victim followed him, Robinson shot him.

The victim sustained three gunshot wounds to his chest, three to his right arm, one to his buttocks and one to a finger that “caused it to nearly detach.” The victim somehow survived.

Police said that Robinson’s girlfriend later told them that Robinson called her after the shooting and admitted he shot the victim.

“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 in a statement.

“This attempted murder is a reminder that hate crimes against the LGBTQI+ community are real and must be confronted," the statement continued. "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.”

The Justice Department defines a hate crime as “a violent act motivated by bias towards a person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.”

Last month a Paola, Kansas, man who pleaded guilty to a racially motivated hate crime was sentenced to 27 months in prison.

In September 2019, the defendant, Colton Ray Donner, got out of his car when he saw a Black juvenile on the sidewalk and approached him while brandishing a knife. He threatened him, shouted racial slurs at him and told him that Paola was “a white town.”

As a reporter covering breaking news and legal affairs, I want to demystify often-complex legal issues in order to expose the visible and invisible ways they affect people’s lives. I cover issues of justice and equity, and seek to ensure that significant and often under-covered developments get the attention they deserve so that KCUR listeners and readers are equipped with the knowledge they need to act as better informed citizens. Email me at dan@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make non-profit journalism available for everyone.