A 19-year-old man has been sentenced to three life terms in prison for killing two gay men and a transgender woman after attending a party with them.
Devon Kareem Robinson was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder in March for the May 2019 killings of 21-year-old Alunte Davis and 20-year-olds Timothy Blancher and Paris Cameron, reports NBC News. Davis and Blancher were gay men, and Cameron was a transgender woman.
On June 30, Robinson was sentenced to three life terms without the option of parole, as well as 10 to 20 years each for two counts of assault with intent to murder and two years consecutively for five felony firearm counts.
The three victims had met Robinson at a gas station, and Cameron invited him to the party, reports The Detroit News. While at the party, which was held at a Detroit home, Robinson was allegedly “hugged up” with Cameron. He later left the party with a blank look on his face.
#DevonRobinson – Robinson was sentenced to LWOP for the murders of Timothy Blancher, Alunte Davis and Paris Cameron. #LGBTQ The judge never started the live stream today of the sentencing hearing. We apologize for not bringing that live but out of our control. pic.twitter.com/RFVr5jdbE7
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) June 30, 2020
He then walked back to the gas station where he initially met the victims, and surveillance footage shows him dry heaving and spitting, reports Pink News. At 4:03 a.m. Robinson returned to his home. Camera footage from a neighbor's home shows a person dressed in all black walking from the direction of his house less than an hour later, reports The Detroit News. A masked person then arrived at the location of the party and began spraying rounds.
Davis was struck twice, and Blancher and Cameron were hit four times. Robinson is also accused of shooting and wounding two other people in the house who survived their injuries.
The teenager fled his home in the early morning following the incident. Law enforcement tracked him down after receiving an anonymous tip.
One survivor testified that Robinson fired at the victims so many times blood began to seep through the walls. A man testified that a gunman came into the house and sprayed the living room with bullets. Partygoers initially thought the gunfire was the sound of fireworks.
Special prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz said that Robinson received oral sex from multiple people at the party. Attendees said Robinson was gay and they believe the allegations led him to leave the party, The Detroit News reported.
Horowitz said Robinson shot the victims to get rid of those who saw him engaged in sexual activity.
Robinson’s attorney, Evan Callanan Jr., said the prosecutors’ allegations were a “fanciful theory” and that there was no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that his client was the gunman.
“You don’t see his face; you can’t see who it is,” Callanan said, according to Pink News.
One witness said Robinson had no “reason in the world” to shoot.
Prosecutors said that Robinson committed the murders because of the victims’ identities.
“This is a case about hate,” Horowitz said during her closing statement. “This is a case about self-hate.”
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy called Robinson’s actions “disturbing on so many levels.”
“We will continue to be vigilant in our fight to eradicate hate in Wayne County and beyond,” Worthy said in a statement.
Organizations that support the LGBTQ+ community have thanked the court for bringing justice.
“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,” Alanna Maguire, president of LGBTQ advocacy organization Fair Michigan, said. “This conviction and life-in-prison sentence sends a clear message that crimes against our community can result in maximum penalties under the law.”
Robinson intends to appeal the verdict.