Judge orders man to stand trial in LGBTQ slayings in Detroit

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News
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Detroit — A Detroit man was bound over for trial Tuesday on charges in connection to the slayings of two gay men and a transgender woman in May.

Judge Michael Wagner of 36th District Court said circumstantial evidence and "multiple contacts" the defendant had with the victims provided probable cause during a second day of testimony to bind over Devon Kareem Robinson, 19, to Wayne County Circuit Court. 

Devon Robinson, 19.

Robinson faces 10 criminal counts, including murder and assault with intent to commit murder. He is charged in the May 25 shootings at a home in the 3700 block of Devonshire in Detroit.

Prosecutors say the victims were targeted for their sexual orientation. They also allege that Robinson shot and wounded two others who survived their injuries.

Wagner also cited testimony by witnesses at a party where Robinson allegedly engaged in sex activity with four people who allegedly laughed at him, saying, "He gay. He gay."

Robinson is charged in the fatal shootings of Alunte Davis, 21; Timothy Blancher, 20; and Paris Cameron, 20, a transgender woman,   while the friends gathered in the living room of the east-side home following a party .

The shooting occurred a couple of hours after the party, prosecutors said. Robinson was invited to the gathering by Cameron after meeting her about 2:40 a.m. at a gas station and convenience store near Mack and Haverhill. 

Detroit police Detective Paytra Williams testified Tuesday and presented video from a home on Buckingham Avenue, a couple of blocks from the Devonshire house where the party occurred, showing a man dressed in similar clothes as those which Robinson was seen wearing in a video at the gas station. A video from a camera on Robinson's block shows a man pacing back and forth a few minutes before showing up at the party.

Robinson is seen around 4 a.m. outside the gas station "dry heaving" before he goes into the gas station and buys a juice and leaving the station without talking to the clerk who had earlier told him Cameron and her friends were gay.

The detective also presented a video from a neighbor that showed a figure dressed in all black coming from the direction of of Robinson's home about 4:53 a.m., five minutes before the first 911 calls  about the shooting at the Devonshire address.

Under cross-examination by Robinson's attorney, Evan Callanan Jr., Williams said there was no video showing "facial features" of Robinson until 4 a.m., when he allegedly is seen outside the gas station.

"He has the motive. He's upset," said Special Prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz. "He waits an hour to go to his house. He changes his clothes, put on something to cover his face ... and then heads ... over to Devonshire, where he commits the shooting of three people."

Powell Horowitz is prosecuting the case for the Fair Michigan Justice Project, a collaboration between the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and Fair Michigan Foundation Inc. The foundation helps state law enforcement agencies and prosecutors solve crimes against people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. 

Robinson's lawyer told the court there was no evidence against his client.

"You have a fanciful theory put forth by the (prosecutor)," said Callanan. "There is simply not  a sufficient quantum of evidence of identification to bind him over on anything."

bwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2027

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