Hate crime charge in death of Bowie State student

Lester Mason
October 18, 2017

The University of Maryland student already indicted in the stabbing death of a black U.S. Army second lieutenant was indicted Tuesday afternoon with an additional charge of hate crime resulting in death, Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said.

Collins, a Bowie State student set to graduate a mere three days before his death, was stabbed by Urbanski at a bus stop while visiting friends at the University of Maryland.

Urbanski, 22, is already facing a murder charge in Collins' death.

Alsobrooks says authorities analyzed "lots and lots of digital evidence", including evidence from a phone. In July, Alsobrooks told reporters that her office lacked sufficient evidence to pursue hate crime charges.

Police have said an investigation showed Urbanski was part of the Alt-Reich group on Facebook, where members post disparaging material about African-Americans, Jews and others, authorities said. According to investigators, Urbanski yelled at Collins before stabbing him in the chest.

If convicted, he could be sentenced to life without parole plus 20 years, Alsobrooks said. Urbanski's trial is expected to take place in January 2018.

In May, University of Maryland, College Park President Wallace Loh announced a series of actions to fight hate on campus, including the creation of a task force on bias and campus safety.

"We are comfortable at this time that the motive in this case was race".

Police arrested Urbanski on the University of Maryland campus.

Alsobrooks said that Collins's family continues to grieve.

Urbanski remains held without bail.

"I don't know that there is anything that can ever be done to really completely heal a wound like this", Alsobrooks said.

The incident further heightened racial tensions at U-Md., which had reported several race-based incidents throughout the campus in previous months.

Recently, a man was charged in connection with swastika graffiti found on a garbage can on campus.

The FBI was also investigating the incident as a federal hate crime and has not said whether they will file federal hate crimes charges. "This is especially true today as the prosecution of this senseless crime moves through the criminal justice system".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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