White Man Charged With Hate Crime for Death of Black Bowie State University Student

By Kenrya Rankin Oct 18, 2017

On May 20, Sean Urbanski allegedly stabbed Bowie State University student and Army second lieutenant Richard Collins III, killing him just three days before his graduation. Yesterday (October 17), Urbanski, who is White, was charged with a "hate crime resulting in death."

Urbanski, 22, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder and first-degree assault for what police called a “totally unprovoked” attack on Collins, 23, a Black student who was visiting friends at University of Maryland when he was killed. But the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Office declined to file hate crime charges until now.

According to The Washington Post, State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks told press that federal and local law enforcement officers uncovered an alleged racial motive for the stabbing after investigating the contents of his digital devices and social media accounts, which yielded “lots of digital evidence,” showed that the killing was premeditated and led them to believe that “Lieutenant Collins was murdered because of his race.” The specifics of that evidence have not been released, but shortly after the killing, Urbanski was linked to a now-deleted Facebook page called Alt-Reich: Nation, which is a haven for racists.

Video caught Urbanski approaching Collins and two friends at a bus stop on the College Park, Maryland, campus at around 3 a.m. and telling him to, “Step left, step left if you know what’s best for you.” When Collins didn’t move, Urbanski stabbed him with the folding knife police later found in his pocket.

Urbanski, who was a student at University of Maryland, is in jail and his case is set to go to trial in January. Alsobrooks says her office will seek the maximum sentence for the murder charge, which is life in prison without parole. If found guilty of the hate crime charge, he could face up to 20 years in prison.