KC man pleads guilty to federal hate crime, shooting teen multiple times

U.S. Department of Justice seal.
U.S. Department of Justice seal.
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 2:51 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A Kansas City man has pleaded guilty to committing a federal hate crime and shooting a local teen about eight times over the victim’s sexual orientation.

Malachi Robinson, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Robinson has been in federal custody since being indicted by a grand jury in August of 2021.

His sentencing hearing has not been scheduled yet. He will remain in federal custody in the meantime.

By submitting a guilty plea Thursday, he admitted to shooting the victim with a 9mm pistol in an attempted murder because of the victim’s sexual orientation. The victim was shot about eight times and sustained life-threatening injuries.

According to the plea agreement, Robinson and the victim met by chance at the Kansas City Public Library in May of 2019. They briefly talked over Facebook Messenger before leaving. Then, they walked in the Swope Park area under the guise of looking for a place to engage in a sexual act.

Around that same time, Robinson wrote to his girlfriend and said that he “might shoot this boy” because of his sexual orientation.

When Robinson and the victim entered a wooded area, Robinson pulled out his pistol and shot him multiple times.

Afterward, Robinson ran through the woods. He went toward his apartment and continued trying to avoid being detected or arrested.

Later that day and in subsequent days, Robinson told other people that he’d shot the victim because of his sexual orientation.

Under federal statutes, Robinson is subject to a sentence of up to life in federal prison without parole. The maximum sentence is prescribed by Congress. However, the court will ultimately determine Robinson’s sentence based on advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

Because Robinson is in federal custody, his mugshot is not publicly available.