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Judge Drops Hate Crime Charge in U.Md. Murder Trial

A Maryland judge on Tuesday tossed a hate crime charge in the murder trial of Sean Urbanski, a white former University of Maryland student accused of fatally stabbing a Black man at a bus stop on the College Park campus.

Urbanski, 24, who is White, is charged with the May 2017 fatal stabbing of U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Richard Collins III, 23, who was just days away from graduating from Bowie State University and had just been commissioned as an Army officer.

Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Hill said prosecutors failed to show that Urbanski stabbed Collins specifically because Collins was Black.

Urbanski didn’t make any statements of hate or use racial slurs during the attack, and his defense attorney William Brennan Jr. said Collins was stabbed because he was standing closest to Urbanski when he approached a group with whom Collins was standing.

Shortly after the judge’s ruling, Collins’ parents, Dawn and Richard Collins, who had released an emotional statement at the start of the trial last week, left the Upper Marlboro courtroom visibly upset.

Urbanski still faces a first-degree murder charge in the case.

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