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Man pleads guilty Thursday to shooting, nearly killing victim because of sexual orientation

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Posted at 4:36 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-09 22:57:58-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man admitted Thursday in federal court he shot and nearly killed a teenage boy because of that boy's sexual orientation.

Malachi Robinson, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, according to a Department of Justice news release.

Robinson is being held in federal detention. No sentencing date has been scheduled.

The incident began when Robinson and the victim talked on Facebook Messenger on May 29, 2019, at a branch of the Kansas City, Missouri, Public Library.

The two left the library, with Robinson leading his victim to think they would have sex.

Robinson wrote to his girlfriend he "might have to shoot this boy" because of the teen's sexual orientation, according to the release.

He shot the victim about eight times with a pistol after they walked into the woods.

After the shooting, Robinson ran to his apartment and told people what he had done, per the release.

The shooting victim survived the incident.

"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 the release. “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.”