Life Sentence for White Man Who Fatally Stabbed Black Student in Maryland


A 25-year-old white man who stabbed a Black faculty scholar to loss of life throughout an opportunity encounter on the College of Maryland’s foremost campus in 2017 in what prosecutors mentioned was a racially motivated hate crime was sentenced on Thursday to life in jail.

The person, Sean C. Urbanski, was convicted in December 2019 by a jury in Prince George’s County, Md., of first-degree homicide within the loss of life of Richard W. Collins III.

Mr. Collins, 23, was days away from graduating from close by Bowie State College and had just lately been commissioned as a second lieutenant within the Military. He was making ready to maneuver to Fort Leonard Wooden, Mo., for coaching in defending the nation in opposition to chemical assaults.

“He was on a pinnacle of doing nice issues,” Daybreak Collins, Mr. Collins’s mom, mentioned at a information convention on Thursday after the sentencing.

The 2017 encounter between the boys was transient and violent, and the killing forged a pall over what would have been a festive interval on each campuses.

In keeping with the College of Maryland police, within the early hours of Could 20, Mr. Collins and two buddies had been standing at a bus cease in entrance of a dormitory on Maryland’s campus once they heard Mr. Urbanski, then 22, screaming. They watched as he approached them.

“Step left, step left if you already know what’s greatest for you,” Mr. Urbanski mentioned, in accordance with the police. Mr. Collins mentioned no, and Mr. Urbanski plunged a three- to four-inch silver blade into his chest, the police mentioned a witness had informed them.

When law enforcement officials arrived, they discovered Mr. Urbanski, a College of Maryland scholar, sitting on a bench just a few toes from the place witnesses mentioned he had simply stabbed Mr. Collins, officers mentioned. Mr. Collins was pronounced useless after 4 a.m., simply three days earlier than he was scheduled to graduate from Bowie State.

On the time, Mr. Urbanski’s assault didn’t qualify as a hate crime beneath Maryland regulation, officers mentioned. Mr. Collins’s mother and father efficiently lobbied to vary the regulation, which went into effect in October. Now, a suspect’s prior exercise, not simply rhetoric on the scene, might be thought of proof of intent. That new regulation was named after Mr. Collins.

Beneath Maryland regulation, offenders sentenced to life in jail are eligible for parole after 15 years, in accordance with the Prince George’s County state’s lawyer, Aisha Braveboy. William Brennan, a lawyer for Mr. Urbanski, mentioned his shopper could possibly be eligible for parole sooner, accounting for time already served and good conduct.

After the assault, officers mentioned they had been investigating the episode as a potential hate crime.

Mr. Urbanski was a member of a Fb group that had trafficked in anti-Black and sexist memes. The group was shut down after the assault, and its administrator, Alex Goodman, mentioned it had been supposed as satire. “Nothing is supposed as true,” Mr. Goodman told The New York Times. “I condemn those that imagine in white supremacy.”

On the information convention on Thursday, a prosecutor within the case mentioned Mr. Urbanski had had loads of entry to such messaging.

“The variety of racist and hate memes that had been on his cellphone had been simply baffling,” mentioned Jonathan Church, a deputy Prince George’s state’s lawyer.

Mr. Brennan mentioned at sentencing that his shopper was “terribly remorseful” and that he deeply regretted what he had completed.

Elizabeth Urbanski, Mr. Urbanski’s mom, expressed her “horror and devastation” over her son’s crime. She informed Mr. Collins’s mother and father, in accordance with The Related Press, “Your son Richard needs to be right here, and it’s my son Sean’s fault that he’s not.”

On the information convention, Ms. Collins mentioned her son had been trying ahead to a vibrant future.

“He had aspired to be the following Gen. Colin Powell,” Ms. Collins mentioned, referring to the retired four-star normal and former secretary of state. “And there was nothing that was going to cease him.”



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