UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WJZ) — Prosecutors in the murder trial of former University of Maryland student Sean Urbanski rested their case Monday.

The judge declined a defense motion to throw out hate crime and first-degree murder charges against Urbanski, who is on trial for the murder of Bowie State University student Richard Collins, III. Collins was stabbed while visiting friends on the College Park campus in May 2017.

“There is no evidence whatsoever this is based on race,” argued defense attorney John McKenna.

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But deputy state’s attorney Jason Abbott said dozens of racist memes advocating violence against African Americans are enough to show hate was the motive. They were all found on Urbanski’s phone and introduced into evidence Monday. “He singled out the only black man. (…) There is a connection between those actions and the images on his phone.”

Urbanski was a member of the now-defunct Facebook group Alt Reich Nation. Among the images found saved on his phone were racist memes regarding Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, Jr.

Another member of the group, Nicholas Clampitt, took the stand and identified some of the memes. He testified he was part of a group chat with Urbanski and 10 to 15 other people. He said he knew Urbanski because they both worked at a bowling alley and went to Severna Park High School together.

Urbanski’s lawyers argue the racist images were “auto-saved” on the device and he did not look at them before the killing.

The two people who were with Collins when he was stabbed, Blake Bender and Amanda Lee, both testified they heard “nonsensical, angry yelling“ before the encounter.

Sean Urbanski (l) and Richard Collins III (r).

Bender said Urbanski approached them at the bus stop and said, “Step left. Step left if you know what’s best for you,” three times. Bender believed the first two were directed at him. The third to Collins.

Lee testified Collins told Urbanski ‘no’ and that is when Urbanski stabbed him.

“He stabbed him square in the chest,” Lee testified. “I ran. I was sure he was going to try to get me next.”

According to their testimony, Urbanski did not say anything regarding race.

Jurors also heard from the medical examiner’s office about the fatal stab wound that severed Collins’ pulmonary artery. Collins’ parents left the courtroom when prosecutors presented the autopsy photos of their son.

Urbanski’s acquaintance Akshay Lingayat took the stand as the first defense witness. He said he was with Urbanski at a bar shortly before the stabbing.

“I saw him punching a light post. I believe he was blackout drunk,” Lingayat testified. “He was mentally checked out, stressed out, annoyed, upset.”

Lingayat told jurors he was concerned about Urbanski and walked him to the bus stop and left him there.

“He was definitely under the influence,” he said.

Blood alcohol tests taken hours after the stabbing showed Urbanski registered a .10, and his attorney argued in the opening statement that he may have been drunk “three times the legal limit” at the time of the stabbing.

Comments
  1. Unfortunately, this is not the Middle Ages, when a crime committed in an alcoholic blackout could lead to the perp getting off. Urbanski’s alcoholism I’m 100-percent sure had been brought to his attention long before this murder.

    Alcoholism is an equal-opportunity destroyer.

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