Man gets nearly 22-year prison sentence for anti-LGBTQI+ hate crime

Man gets nearly 22-year prison sentence for anti-LGBTQI+ hate crime
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A man in Missouri was ordered to spend nearly 22 years in prison for attempting to kill an unnamed teenager by shooting him eight times because of his sexual orientation.

Malachi Robinson, who pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in July of 2022, admitted to shooting the then-16-year-old victim, only identified as M.S., about eight times with a 9mm pistol in order to kill him because of his sexual orientation. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to 262 months in federal prison without parole, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

“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 wrote in a Thursday statement. “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.”

Robinson and M.S. purportedly met at the Kansas City Public Library, before talking online and deciding to meet back up at the library. Library surveillance shows M.S. began to walk away, and that Robinson followed him. Prosecutors say Robinson lured M.S. into a wooded area for sex, all the while texting his girlfriend that he "might shoot this boy" because of his sexual orientation.

When M.S. changed his mind and began to walk away, Robinson shot him eight times before fleeing the scene and telling others what he did, according to the prosecution.

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