The 22-year-old man charged for killing a black Bowie State University student will not face hate crime charges due to lack of evidence. Sean Christopher Urbanski, a student at the University of Maryland, was indicted for murder on Thursday (July 13) in the May slaying of 23-year-old Richard Collins III.
Despite the FBI initially investigating the case as a hate crime, state prosecutors “didn’t have enough” evidence to go forward with the charges. The murder has since been described as an unprovoked attack.
“Developing a motive is always a challenging aspect of a case, and in this case, and in any other case, you can’t get it wrong,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said at a press conference on Thursday.
Meanwhile, UMD has had a string of well-publicized incidents of racism. Less than a week before Collins was killed, a noose was discovered in the kitchen of a Phi Kappa Tau fraternity house, and in March, fliers were placed around campus declaring America a “white nation.”
Urbanksi, who belonged to a white supremacist Facebook group known a “Alt-Reigh Nation,” could still potentially be charged with a hate crime at a later date.
A grand jury moved to indict Urbanksi for murder after reviewing evidence that included video surveillance taken at the bus stop where Collins was stabbed to death in the early hours of May 20.
Collins and two friends were waiting for an Uber on campus when Urbanksi approached and threatened, “Step left if you know what’s best for you.”
Collins, an ROTC member and recently commissioned second lieutenant in the Army, refused to move and was fatally stabbed in the chest. He died at a local hospital, days before he was scheduled to graduate from Bowie State, a historically black college.
Following the murder, Welby Burgone, a Maryland civilian police employee and Urbanski’s former classmate, was suspended from his job for posting a Facebook message showing support for the brutal act.
Another of Urbanski’s classmates apparently commented on Brugone’s post, “F*ck yeah Sean!!! That’s what happens when a n*gger tries to get frosty with an OG.”
A trial date has not yet been set for Urbanksi, who faces life in prison, if convicted.