COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — The man found guilty in the stabbing death of a Bowie State University student has been sentenced to life in prison.
Sean Urbanski, 25, was convicted of killing Richard Collins, III, at a bus stop on the University of Maryland College Park campus in May 2017 while Collins was visiting a friend. Collins was just days away from graduating from Bowie State.
Thursday, Urbanski apologized to Collins’ family.
“I and I alone are [sic] to be blamed for that tragedy,” he said.
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During the trial, prosecutors argued the murder was racially motivated, but the judge tossed out a hate crime charge in the case. Urbanski had been accused of singling out Collins because he was Black and then stabbing the recently-commissioned Army officer in the chest.
Urbanski was a member of the now-disbanded Facebook group “Alt Reich Nation,” but his defense attorneys argued race was not a factor, instead blaming him being intoxicated.
Urbanski’s blood-alcohol content was three times the legal limit at the time, his attorneys said.
“Right from the beginning, he accepted responsibility,” defense attorney John McKenna said.
In victim impact statements, Collins’ family and friends praised the 23-year-old and mourned a life cut short.
“We remain devastated and overcome with grief over this senseless murder,” family member Allen Taylor said. “I am heartbroken and saddened and angry.”
Collins’ parents also addressed the court. Dawn Collins broke down in tears while reading a lengthy statement describing her pride in her son.
“I don’t have a broken heart, I have a shattered heart,” she said. “Something as heinous as this, your honor, there is no words to describe the pain that I feel.”
Urbanski’s mother Elizabeth also addressed Collins’ parents directly.
“Mr. and Mrs. Collins, there is so much I wanted to say to you over the last three years,” Elizabeth Urbanski said. “Your son Richard should be
here and it’s my son’s Sean’s fault that he is not. The horror and devastation of knowing that Sean took Richard’s life is with me every day. I am so sorry. Those words are not any where near enough, but I am so sorry.”
In a statement, University of Maryland President Darryll Pines said the university’s hearts are with Collins’ family members.
“We will carry forward the memory of Lt. Collins as we make plans for a physical memorial on campus to commemorate his life and memory,” Pines said. “We are currently working with the Collins family on its location and design. At the appropriate time, we will communicate to our campus community about the memorial site.”
The president of Bowie State also expressed her condolences.
“Today, we extend our deepest condolences to Richard’s parents Dawn and Richard Collins Jr. again, as the perpetrator of the crime was finally sentenced in Prince George’s County Circuit Court,” President Aminta Breaux said in a statement. “We as a campus community grieve alongside the Collins family, as the void left on our campus by the loss of their son can never be filled. We hope that by bringing this chapter to an end, there may be some sense of closure for those closest to Lt. Collins.”