‘He stole our happiness’: Wichita man sentenced in murder of QuikTrip security guard

A 44-year-old Wichita man who fatally shot a QuikTrip security guard in 2021 has been sentenced to spend at least 51.5 years in prison for the killing.

Laroy Monzell West was convicted in October of first-degree premeditated murder in 39-year-old Will Robinson’s death.

Robinson, who was working security at the former Broadway and Murdock QuikTrip, now a Jump Start, asked West to turn down his music or leave on May 5, 2021. West taunted and called Robinson a coward to lure him across the street and shot him in the face out of anger after some punches were thrown, prosecutors said.

Robinson, who had worked for Wichita Police Department, died two days later.

On Friday, the courtroom was full with supporters of Robinson, a husband and father of two children who was known for helping homeless people. Many wore T-shirts that said “Justice 4 Will” with a photo of him and his date of birth and death. A few family members spoke during the sentencing.

West declined to speak when he was given the chance but interrupted District Judge Bruce Brown multiple times when the judge described the sentencing he would give.

“You have behaved in a selfish and self-centered manner with no empathy or compassion for others,” Brown said. “Only looking at what Mr. West wants and Mr. West gets what Mr. West wants. Nobody gets in Mr. West’s way. Nobody insults him, nobody tells him what to do.”

West said: “Hey, don’t put those words in my mouth judge.”

He interrupted a few more times, including pointing the papers in his hands at the judge and saying : “I’ve never acted like that ... I did what I felt, what I reasonably believed needed to be done in those circumstances.”

Brown said “we all make mistakes” and that he needed to listen to the truth.

“I didn’t make no mistakes,” West said.

That was the last time West spoke after Brown told him he would be removed if he interrupted any more.

Laroy Monzell West talks with his attorney before being sentenced Friday to more than 50 years in prison for the killing of 39-year-old Will Robinson, who was shot while working security at QuikTrip in downtown Wichita. The Wichita Eagle/Michael Stavola
Laroy Monzell West talks with his attorney before being sentenced Friday to more than 50 years in prison for the killing of 39-year-old Will Robinson, who was shot while working security at QuikTrip in downtown Wichita. The Wichita Eagle/Michael Stavola

West would have to be paroled in the murder before serving another roughly five years for two counts of aggravated assault and criminal possession of a firearm tied to Robinson’s shooting and an incident a few months before that where he threatened La Chinita Mexican Restaurant workers with a gun.

“Perhaps because he saw a video camera we didn’t have a shooting that day,” Sedgwick County assistant attorney Jason Roach said during the sentencing.

West’s attorney, Mark Sevart, indicated he would make an appeal in the case, either based on self-defense, for a new trial or on the sentencing itself.

Brown said “there is zero basis in this case for self-defense.”

“I find that his is a cold-blooded act of shooting Mr. Robinson in the face and killing him simply out of selfish rage and there is no sign of repentance or recognition of ‘I need to change my life.”’

West was also ordered to pay $1,110 to reimburse a state fund for victims that paid for counseling for the family and other court costs.

“The pain, the hurt, the heartache, the sadness, the hate and the love that I feel inside of me right now and over these last 2.5 years is unimaginable,” widow Natasha Robinson told the judge before the sentencing. “The one thing I don’t feel is forgiveness and that is what makes me different from my husband. That is why my husband ... deserves justice for his life and for what was taken from him and all of us the day this coward ripped him of his life, shot and killed my husband, our children’s daddy, and ... our hero. He stole our happiness and our joy. He stole the heart and the rock of our family.”

West laughed to himself and licked his lips when she called him a coward.

Donnie Robinson Sr., an imposing man like his son, told the judge that his son was his brother in Christ and that what was done was evil.

“If it ain’t the work of God then it’s the work of evil,” he said. “There is no middle ground.”

Junia Robinson, the daughter of the victim, recounted all the things her father missed since being killed and what he would miss in the future — like walking her down the aisle.

“My dad missed some of the hardest times for me and some of my firsts for a lot of things, like eighth grade graduation, playing volleyball, becoming a cheerleader,” the 15-year-old said. “Middle school was already tough and not having my dad made it even harder,. It was a struggle for me day-to-day to get through.”

She said sometimes she thinks it’s still not real, that one day he will come back.

“I feel more weak than ever,” she said. “My dad will forever be missed, and I will never forget the day I lost my best friend.”

Will Robinson is also survived by a son, Theos Robinson, now eight. He walked out for part of the sentencing and cried in the hall. He was wearing one of the red T-shirts with his father’s picture on it. He was also wearing his father’s chain.

Brown told the family that it would take time, but they should try to forgive.

“Otherwise that individual will continue to hurt you,” he said. “And they certainly don’t deserve that right.”