Teen who murdered gay men and trans woman at a sex party was so brutal, the blood seeped through the walls. He’s been jailed for life
A Detroit teenager who murdered two gay men and a transgender woman in a sex party shooting spree has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Devon Kareem Robinson, 19, received oral sex from several people at the fateful party on May 25 2019, and became terrified his family would find out.
An hour after leaving the party he returned with a ski mask and a handgun. He opened fire, injuring two people and instantly killing three others – Timothy Blancher, 20, Alunte Davis, 21, and Paris Cameron, 20.
A survivor testified in November that Robinson fired so many bullets that his victims’ blood seeped through the walls. Police and prosecutors said the crime was directly motivated by their identity.
“This is a case about hate,” said prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz in her closing arguments. “This is a case about self-hate.”
A jury convicted the teen of three counts of first-degree premeditated murder, two counts of assault with intent to murder and five counts of felony firearm use.
He was sentenced on Tuesday (June 30) and received life sentences for each of the murders, as well as sentences of 10 to 20 years for each of the assault counts and two years for each of the firearm counts.
Robinson’s defence team say he intends to appeal the verdict. At the trial they argued there was no way to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the figure captured on two separate video cameras was actually him.
“You don’t see his face; you can’t see who it is,” said Robinson’s lawyer Evan Callanan.
“I had high hopes that the jury would have reached a different verdict but, unfortunately, they’ve spoken. We plan to appeal and we will see what comes of it.”
At a pretrial hearing in November, he called prosecutors’ version of events “a fanciful theory”, AP reports. However, the county courts are satisfied that justice has been served.
“The defendant’s actions were disturbing on so many levels,” Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement. “We will continue to be vigilant in our fight to eradicate hate in Wayne County and beyond.”
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Alanna Maguire, president of Fair Michigan, told the New York Times that Robinson’s conviction will send “a clear message” about hate crimes in Detroit.
“Devon Robinson murdered three members of Detroit’s LGBT+ community in cold blood, and wounded two others,” she said.
“Fair Michigan applauds the Detroit Police Department, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Fair Michigan Justice Project team for bringing this murderer to justice.
“This conviction and life-in-prison sentence sends a clear message that crimes against our community can result in maximum penalties under the law.”
Federal hate crime data released by the FBI shows crimes targeting the LGBT+ community aremost markedly against victims targeted for their gender identity.
Transgender women face disproportionate levels of violence and harassment, to the extent that trans women of colour in the US reportedly have a life expectancy of just 35 years old.