White UMD Student Now Charged with Hate Crime in Murder of Bowie State Grad

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Sean Urbanski. Photo via University of Maryland Police.

A 22-year-old Severna Park native has been slapped with a charge of hate crime resulting in death in the May murder of Richard Collins III, a black recent grad and newly commissioned Army officer.

Collins, 23, was stabbed to death in the early hours of Saturday morning in May on the University of Maryland-College Park campus. Just three days later, he would have walked in his graduation ceremony at Bowie State University. One day before he was killed, Collins had been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

Sean Urbanski, a student at the University of Maryland, was charged in his killing. Police said he approached Collins and his friends while they were standing at a bus stop. He was screaming, and uttered, “Step left, step left if you know what’s best for you,” before stabbing Collins in the chest, according to police.

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks announced today a grand jury had approved the additional hate crime charge for Urbanski. It’s backed by digital evidence collected and analyzed with help from the FBI and Prince George’s County police, she said.

Alsobrooks said she couldn’t share any specifics due to the pending nature of the case, but noted the evidence came from his phone and that prosecutors “followed the evidence” and are “very comfortable with the indictment.” As now implied by the charge, she said race was a factor in Urbanski’s attack that night.

Shortly after the murder, word got out that Urbanski was a member of the “Alt-Reich: Nation” Facebook group, which promotes hate messaging.

Prosecutors plan to pursue the maximum penalty for Urbanski: life without parole, plus 20 years.

After Collins’ killing, the University of Maryland moved to ramp up anti-hate messaging and programming on campus. The college has been dealing with an uptick in hate-related incidents to start the fall semester.

Collins’ murder made national headlines, in part because officials at the time refused to deem Collins’ death a hate-motivated killing.



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