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Sentencing upcoming for man convicted of killing Black Bowie State student

UPPER MARLBORO, MD. — A white man will soon be sentenced for stabbing a Black college student to death at a bus stop at the University of Maryland in what prosecutors say was a racially motivated crime.

State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said in a news release that Sean Urbanski, 25, will be sentenced on Thursday in the 2017 killing of 23-year-old Richard Collins III. Urbanski was found guilty by a jury of first-degree murder in 2019.

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Richard Collins III
Richard Collins III (HANDOUT)

Collins, a senior at Bowie State University, was days from graduation and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army when he was stabbed to death.

Braveboy says in the news release that Urbanski was a member of a racist social media group and singled Collins out at the bus stop for the attack in the early morning hours of a Saturday.

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Prosecutors have said that a mixture of alcohol and racist propaganda motivated Urbanski to act on a hatred for Black people.

But defense attorney John McKenna has said in court that his client was drunk and there was no evidence or testimony to support a racial motive for the killing.

In legislation named for Collins, Maryland recently strengthened its hate crime law so prosecutors don’t have to prove hate was the only motivating factor in committing a crime.

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