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Kansas City, Missouri, man indicted on federal hate crime, firearm violation charges

Greg Sims
Posted at 3:58 PM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 17:04:14-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — A federal grand jury in Kansas City, Missouri indicted a Jackson County man charging him with a hate crime involving an attempt to kill because of the victim's sexual orientation and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence.

In the case of United States of America v. Malachi Robinson, Robinson, 25, was charged on Wednesday with violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, according to a Department of Justice news release.

On May 29, 2019, Robinson allegedly shot the victim with a 9-mm handgun because of his "actual and perceived" sexual orientation, according to the indictment out of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri Western Division. The indictment said the gun traveled in "interstate and foreign commerce," which the prosecution must prove to obtain a conviction.

The victim sustained "significant non-fatal injuries," according to the release.

If found guilty, Robinson could face life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison for the hate crime charge and a consecutive sentence for the firearm charge. For each charge, he could face up to a $250,000 fine. Both charges are a class A felony.

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was enacted in 2010 and criminalized willfully causing bodily injury against a person for their race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. It also provided funding and assistance to multiple jurisdictions to help investigate and prosecute hate crimes.

The FBI's Kansas City Field Office and the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department investigated this case.