A Missouri man was sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison Thursday for a hate crime after shooting a gay teen in May 2019.
Malachi Robinson, 25, shot the teen, identified only as 16-year-old M.S. in court documents, eight times.
Victim Offered Robinson $5 to Engage in Oral Sex
On May 29, 2019, M.S. approached Robinson in the Kansas City Public Library and asked if he could friend him on Facebook, according to Mr. Robinson's plea agreement.
They began talking over Facebook that day. M.S. "inquired about Robinson's sexual orientation, making suggestive comments about meeting up in the bathroom of the library to engage in a sexual act," the plea agreement states. Robinson replied that he was "not gay," but that if they did something, it would have to be outside the library, court records state.
"M.S. believed that they were looking for a place to carry out the act, as M.S. had offered Robinson $5.00 if he were to engage in oral sex," prosecutors wrote.
Robinson suggested that they go to a wooded area nearby, but before any sex act or exchange of money occurred. However, M.S. changed his mind and turned to leave, prompting Mr. Robinson to pull out his pistol and fire repeatedly at M.S., according to court records.
'Gonna Shoot Him if He Try Some Gay Shit'
While exchanging messages with M.S., he messaged his girlfriend about M.S. and said, "He tryna set me up on sumn now, gonna unfriend him, might shoot this boy if he try some gay shit," according to court documents.
In the days after the shooting, Robinson told a friend in a message that he had shot someone because "he was being gay af and following me like a mf," according to court documents. Before his arrest on June 3, 2019, Robinson Googled phrases including "how to get away with murder in real life" and the victim's name with the word "shot," according to the documents.
M.S. Survived but Suffered 'Long-Term Effects of the Shooting'
M.S. was taken to a hospital in critical condition and remained hospitalized for two weeks. The department said he has suffered "long-term effects of the shooting," including having to undergo multiple surgeries and physical therapy. He also still has several bullets inside of him, the attorney's office said.
As part of a plea deal, Robinson pleaded guilty to one count of a hate crime involving an attempt to kill and was sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in prison without parole, according to the plea.
"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," Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division said in a news release. "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."