The man charged with the fatal stabbing of a promising Black student at the University of Maryland last year may have to face two separate trials for murder and hate crime charges.
Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old Bowie State University student who was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, was killed May 20 at a University of Maryland campus bus stop. Sean Urbanski, who is White and a former University of Maryland student, killed Collins before his connection to a White Supremacist Facebook group called “Alt-Reich Nation” was discovered. Now, Urbanski’s lawyers want the now-deleted social media evidence to be deemed inadmissible in court, they said in a motion filed Friday, Maryland’s WBOC 16 reported.
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks, whose office has sought a life sentence without parole for the 23-year-old, seized on the plea of desperation and insisted the digital evidence stands as proof that the killing was racially motivated.
If the judge deems the evidence allowable, Urbanski’s lawyers will seek one trial for murder charges and another for hate crime charges, they said.
Whether there are two trials or not, people want punishment for Urbanski as the attack on Collins was unprovoked.
It has been nearly a year since Collins’ tragic death sparked discussions about hate on college campuses across the nation. As hate incidents are on the rise, colleges have been forced to address them. Officials, students, parents and community members at colleges nationwide must come together to confront the hateful thinking that motivates these types of crimes.