SPOKANE, Wash. – In the second trial of the man accused of shooting and killing 21-year-old Christian Salazar over a cellphone dispute ended in a conviction of second-degree murder by the jury.
In Feb. 2020, Christian Robinson, then 27 years old, was arrested after a confrontation over a missing cellphone ended with Robinson shooting Salazar in the head in a McDonald’s parking lot.
In initial court documents, Robinson says his phone went missing earlier that night from a bar, and he tracked it to the fast food restaurant with an app. Salazar was sitting in a car with four friends, three of which were women Robinson said his group interacted with at the bar before his phone went missing. In court documents at the time, the woman said she’d taken the phone thinking it belonged to one of her friends without realizing it belonged to Robinson.
Robinson confronted the group and allegedly threatened them if the phone was not returned.
The court documents state the woman sitting in the passengers side told investigators, “He [Robinson] produced a handgun, pointed it across [her] at Salazar, and fired. [She] looked over and saw Salazar slumped over onto the center console, bleeding.”
First responders arrived within four minutes and immediately tried to treat Salazar, but he was pronounced dead at the scene from a gunshot wound to the head.
Robinson claimed self-defense, and the first trial in Nov. 2021 ended with a hung jury.
Spokane Police Department detectives and officers testified again in the second trial, which last two weeks and concluded on Friday, May 27 with a guilty verdict. Robinson has been convicted of second-degree murder.
In a statement, SPD said they’re pleased this case has been resolved and the family of the victim may have some sense of closure.
In an interview, the victim’s father, Shaun Salazar, said, “It’s a little bit of justice. It’s not going to bring my son back. It’s going to take a lot, a lot more mourning, to get through the pain that I’ve been feeling these past few years.”
On the conviction, he said, “I’m glad the jury came back with a guilty verdict, and I hope Robinson burns in Hell.”
The sentencing hearing is expected to be held sometime this summer.