UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) — A white man will soon be sentenced for stabbing a black college student to death at a bus stop at the University of Maryland in what prosecutors say was a racially motivated crime.
State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said in a news release that Sean Urbanski, 25, will be sentenced on Thursday in the 2017 killing of 23-year-old Richard Collins III. Urbanski was found guilty by a jury of first-degree murder in 2019.
Collins, a senior at Bowie State University, was days from graduation and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army when he was stabbed to death.
Braveboy says in the news release that Urbanski was a member of a racist social media group and singled Collins out at the bus stop for the attack in the early morning hours of a Saturday.
Prosecutors have said that a mixture of alcohol and racist propaganda motivated Urbanski to act on a hatred for black people.
But Defense attorney John McKenna has said in court that his client was drunk and there was no evidence or testimony to support a racial motive for the killing.
In a law named for Collins, Maryland recently strengthened its hate crime law so prosecutors don’t have to prove hate was the only motivating factor in committing a crime.