Man Gets 22-Year Prison Sentence for Shooting Teen Over Sexual Orientation

Missouri resident Malachi Robinson admitted to shooting a 16-year-old boy eight times because the teen was gay. He was denied the possibility of parole.

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Image via Getty/Boonchai Wedmakawand

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A Missouri man will spend decades behind bars for 2019 hate crime against a gay teen.

According to the New York Times, 25-year-old Malachi Robinson was sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison on Thursday for the shooting of a 16-year-old Kansas City boy.

Prosecutors say Robinson had met the teen by chance at a public library and began communicating with him over Facebook Messenger. The teen eventually agreed to meet Robinson outside the library, and was subsequently lured into a nearby wooded area. Authorities say Robinson suggested they find a place to engage in a sex act, but was really looking for a spot where he could shoot him.

At one point during the search, Robinson allegedly wrote to his girlfriend that he “might shoot this boy” because of his sexual orientation.

The teen reportedly changed his mind shortly after entering the woods, and began to turn back. It was at that time when Robinson pulled out a 9mm pistol and opened fire, ultimately wounding the teen eight times. The boy managed to make his way to the outside of an apartment complex, where a bystander called 911. He was then transferred to the hospital in critical condition, but was released two weeks later.

A Missouri man who lured a teenager into a wooded area and shot him eight times because of his sexual orientation, causing serious and lingering injuries, was sentenced on Thursday to nearly 22 years in prison, the Justice Department said.

— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 21, 2023

Robinson admitted to the crime in 2022, when he pleaded guilty to violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. 

“This defendant’s sentence holds him accountable for the violent and callous hate crime perpetrated against a defenseless teenager targeted because of their LGBTQ+ status,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Recent FBI data makes clear that hate crimes targeting the LGBTQ+ community persist and this sentence should send a strong message to the perpetrators of these crimes that they will be held accountable. Bias motivated misconduct has no place in our country, and the Justice Department is committed to working with our federal, state and local partners to vigorously pursue justice for victims targeted because of their sexual orientation.”

According to the Times, Robinson was denied the possibility for parole.

The FBI recently determined an 11.6 percent increase in reported hate crime incidents from 8,210 in 2020 to 9,065 in 2021. However, supplemental data showed there was a total of 10,840 hate crime incidents in 2021, nearly 300 more than in the previous year. 

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