UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WJZ) — Around 100 potential jurors packed a second-floor courtroom in Upper Marlboro as jury selection began in the trial of Sean Urbanski, a white man accused of fatally stabbing Bowie State University student Richard Collins, III.
Urbanski, from Anne Arundel County, is accused of stabbing Collins at the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2017.
Collins was visiting friends at the time. According to prosecutors, surveillance video shows Urbanski using a folding knife to target Collins. The two had never met before.
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Prosecutors later discovered racist memes on Urbanski’s cell phone and his membership in the now-defunct Alt Reich Nation Facebook group.
Judge Lawrence Hill asked the jury pool several questions about race, including whether they believed people who told racist jokes and sent racist memes were racist. A majority of the potential jurors stood in the affirmative.
Potential jurors were also asked about whether they’ve been touched by alcoholism. Urbanski’s defense says he was drunk at the time of the fatal stabbing of Bowie State Student Richard Collins III in May 2017. @wjz
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) December 9, 2019
Hill also asked the jurors about alcoholism and alcohol use. Urbanski was drunk at the time of the killing, and his lawyers are reportedly using that as part of his defense.
The defense previously won a battle to stop the prosecution from calling an expert on the Alt Reich Nation group. However, they lost their request to exclude that evidence entirely.
Urbanski sat at the front of the courtroom wearing a blue suit. Collins’ family members watched the proceedings from a back row.
Collins was killed just days before his graduation from Bowie State. He was remembered as a dedicated, passionate student at the 2017 commencement.
In addition to surveillance video of the stabbing, prosecutors plan to present 911 calls, eyewitnesses and the evidence gathered from Urbanski’s cell phone at the trial.
Opening statements are scheduled for Wednesday.