A Missouri man admitted to shooting and nearly killing a teenage boy because of his sexual orientation.
Malachi Robinson, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in Kansas City, according to the Department of Justice.
He is being held in federal detention and is expected to be sentenced on December 15.
Robinson admitted to the following in the plea agreement, which The Advocate obtained.
On May 29, 2019, at a Kansas City Public Library, he spoke with the teenage victim on Facebook Messenger. M.S., the victim, asked Robinson about his sexual orientation and suggested they hook up in the library bathroom. Robinson said he was not gay but agreed to receive oral sex outside the library for $5. They left the library, with Robinson misleading M.S. into believing they would have sex.
At the same time, Robinson emailed screenshots of the conversation to his girlfriend without the teenager's knowledge. "He tryna set me up on sumn now, gonna unfriend me," Robinson wrote to his girlfriend. "Might shoot this boy if he try some gay shit."
Walking into the woods, he shot the victim eight times with a pistol.
The bullets Robinson fired hit M.S. three times in his chest, three times in his right arm, once in his left buttocks, and once in his right hand, almost detaching the finger.
Fortunately, M.S. survived the shooting but has had a painful and challenging recovery, DOJ officials said.
Robinson ran to his apartment after the shooting and told people what he had done, the justice department stated.
It took police five days after the shooting to arrest Robinson. He had tried to avoid capture by disguising his appearance and disposing of the gun. Additionally, he made Google searches for "How to know if the police are looking for you" and "How to get away with murder in real life."
"Violence against others, motivated by hatred of their sexual orientation, is unacceptable," U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore of the Western District of Missouri said in a statement.
"Such callous disregard for the life of a teenage victim, gravely wounded in a failed murder attempt, must be challenged by a commitment to protect the civil rights of all our citizens. When those rights are threatened, the Justice Department will act to hold the violators accountable," she continued.
In December, Robinson could be sentenced to life without parole.
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