UMD student charged with murder of U.S. Army lieutenant

UPPER MARLBORO, MD — A grand jury has indicted a University of Maryland student for the May 20, 2017 stabbing death of a U.S. Army lieutenant. But no decision has been made on if he will also be charged as a hate crime.

Sean Urbanski, 22, has been charged with the first- and second-degree murder of 2nd Lt. Richard Collins III.

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks announced the indictment on Thursday.

“This case of course is one that cause quite an outcry in our community. A young man who had so much promise,” said Alsobrooks.

Collins had recently been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and was set to graduate from Bowie State University a few days after he was stabbed and killed.

The attack happened in the early hours of May 20, 2017 at a University of Maryland bus stop. Witnesses said that Urbanksi was screaming at Collins to move, Collins said no, and then was stabbed. Investigators said the whole attack was caught on video.

“He was simply standing with friends when, completely unprovoked, he was repeatedly stabbed…at the bus stop,” said Alsobrooks. She added that investigators, including the FBI, are still working on a motive for the case and whether this will be classified as a hate crime.

Urbanski was a member of an anti-Semitic group on Facebook.

Alsobrooks added Urbanski had several digital devices that are being analyzed, but said determining motive is always challenging.

“You can’t get it wrong. It is, we believe, the best that we can do to make sure that we are thorough when analyzing the evidence.”

When asked about claims by Urbanski’s lawyer that drugs and alcohol were a factor, Alsobrooks said that “those are still aspects” of the investigation she was not prepared to discuss, but “they are certainly things that we have to consider.”

Urbanski’s next court appearance isn’t set yet, but Alsobrooks said when the case finally does go to trial they will be seeking an enhanced sentence of life without the possibility of parole for the first and second degree murder charges.