As a member of Chicago’s Evans Mob gang faction, Pierre Robinson was devoted to an “almost inconceivable” cycle of gun violence, where murder begets murder, and shootings are followed by social media taunts, vows of revenge, and more shooting, a federal judge said Monday
“It is a tragedy that there are folks in our communities who grow up thinking this is normal life, who accept this kind of life and buy into it,” U.S. District Judge John Tharp said.
That cycle officially ended for Robinson moments later, when Tharp sentenced him to mandatory life in prison for the December 2014 slaying of 23-year-old Glenn Houston at a South Side convenience store — allegedly in retribution for the murder of Robinson’s fellow gang member two years earlier, a shooting Houston had nothing to do with.
Houston was entering the store at 79th Street and Eberhart Avenue when he held the door open for Robinson as he walked out, prosecutors said. Robinson returned a few seconds later and shot Houston as he stood between displays of Fritos and candy near the register, as a mother and her young daughter ducked for cover.
“This was coldblooded, premeditated, calculated — but nevertheless senseless — murder, in the wake of which Mr. Robinson showed no remorse,” Tharp said in sentencing Robinson, who was convicted by a jury last year of murder in the aid of racketeering. “To the contrary, the record at trial revealed repeated taunts to rival gangs after the murder, the antithesis of remorse. … It wasn’t enough for Mr. Robinsons to kill Mr. Houston, he kept pouring salt into the wound.”
In addition to Houston’s slaying, Tharp found Robinson liable for another revenge shooting a few months later that badly wounded gang rival Deshawn Danzler and killed an innocent bystander, Hammood Dawoudi, 23, in the hallway of the apartment building they shared.
Robinson was never charged in that shooting because Danzler refused to identify him for a grand jury investigating the Evans Mob gang, the Tribune has reported.
But Tharp said there was plenty of other evidence that Robinson was responsible, including undercover recordings of Danzler telling his brother that Robinson was the gunman, as well as an eyewitness who said she saw Robinson running from the scene.
Tharp said that while Robinson was not charged in Dawoodi’s murder and it had no official bearing on his sentence, the facts “deserve to see the light of day.”
Before the sentence was handed down, two of Houston’s sisters spoke in court about the loss of their brother, the only boy in the family who left behind five nieces and nephews.
“It gives me really bad panic to even think about it, to think about what to say or even how to feel about it,” one of the sisters, Amelia Houston, said through sobs. “We shouldn’t be here.”
The other sister, Ikiah Houston said it made her sad to think that her kids will never get to know their uncle, to “listen to him talk and smile, just being the little brother that he always was.”
“I just want to see him rest peacefully now,” she said.
Dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, Robinson sat slouched at the defense table as the sisters spoke. When the judge later asked him if he wanted to make a statement, he declined.
At the time he was killed, Houston was recovering from being shot and critically wounded at the same intersection months earlier, according to a Tribune story detailing the devastating cycle of gang violence on Chicago’s South Side.
After one of Houston’s friends was killed in 2013, someone wrote a chilling warning in red marker on the wall of a perfume store at 79th and Eberhart. “You next Glenn,” the message said.
After he was shot in the summer of 2014, Houston spent months in the hospital. His grandmother told the Tribune that the day Houston was discharged, he went right back to the streets.
Robinson, meanwhile, was still serving out a 33-month sentence on a federal weapons conviction when he was indicted in Houston’s killing in November 2018 as part of a larger investigation into the Evans Mob gang, a faction of the Gangster Disciples that prosecutors alleged uses murder, assault and other acts of violence to protect territory and boost its status on social media.
According to court records, the day Houston was killed was the birthday of one of Robinson’s fellow gang members who had been killed in 2012, and Robinson posted on social media he was going out looking for “opps,” or rivals, to shoot.
Shortly after 3 p.m., Robinson walked into Eberhart Food Store, where a mother was ordering a sandwich for her 8-year-old daughter, and did a lap around the store before walking toward the door, where Houston was coming in, prosecutors said.
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Houston, who went by the nickname “G-Mac,” held the door open for Robinson, who briefly stepped outside before pulling his shirt up over the lower half of his face and going back into the store, where he shot Houston three times with a revolver, according to prosecutors.
“As the shots went off, the mother and her child asked an employee making her sandwich if they could go someplace and hide,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Albert Berry wrote in a recent court filing. “They wound up hiding in the bathroom. The employee who told the woman and her child to go into the bathroom stayed low until the shooting was over.”
According to an FBI search warrant affidavit in Robinson’s case, on Christmas Day in 2014 — two days after Houston’s slaying — Robinson posted a photo of a Ruger semi-automatic handgun and a message that read, “LOOK MAN I GOT A RUGGER ON ME NOW I GOT LIKE FOUR BABY CHOPPERS KNOW WHAT I MEAN??? I FEEL LIKE OSAMA MOTHERF—— BIN LADEN.”
In another video posted to social media on October 7, 2015, captioned, “#BackDownMemoryLane No Opps,” Robinson “reminisced about the murder” as he stood in front of the Eberhart store while stating, “Gang, gang, gang, Gutta gang” and yelling “Mac sauce, hot and spicy,” according to court records.
Robinson also posted messages about “smoking on G-Mac” and about G-Mac “being in his blunt, which is slang that disrespects the dead person,” Berry wrote.
“Life being the only possible sentence is well deserved here,” Berry said Monday.