UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - The suspect in the murder of a man on the University of Maryland campus over the weekend is being held without bond.
A judge ordered 22-year-old Sean Urbanski, a University of Maryland student, to remain behind bars in a bond hearing Monday afternoon, but the judge did leave open the possibility of releasing Urbanski with GPS monitoring in the future. The judge asked Urbanski's defense attorney to come up with a plan as to how GPS monitoring could work for his client's case.
Urbanski did not say anything during the hearing, but his attorney said alcohol and substance abuse may have played a significant role.
Urbanski is accused of stabbing a Bowie State University student to death early Saturday morning in what is being investigated as what authorities said Sunday could be a possible hate crime.
The victim, 23-year-old Richard Collins III, had been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army just two days before he was killed. Collins was a senior at Bowie State, and was celebrating with two friends on the College Park campus when he was stabbed. Police have called it a random, unprovoked attack.
Police say Urbanski approached Collins and his friends around 3 a.m. Saturday as they waited for an Uber on Regents Drive near Montgomery Hall. According to investigators, Urbanski started yelling at Collins.
"He said to the victim, 'Step left, step left if you know what's good for you,'" said University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell. "The victim looked at him puzzled with the other friends of his and said, 'No.' It was then that Sean Urbanski stabbed the victim in his chest."
After the stabbing, charging documents say one of Collins' friends stayed with him, while the other ran toward Route 1 looking for help, calling 911 on the way. When help arrived, they attempted CPR on him, but Collins was pronounced dead at Prince George's Hospital Center.
Urbanski was arrested at the scene. Police found him sitting on a nearby bench, the charging documents say. They believe he had been drinking.
Mitchell said Sunday that police have learned Urbanski was a member of a racist group on Facebook called Alt-Reich Nation, which is hateful toward women and minorities.
"Especially African-Americans," Mitchell said. "Which brings up questions as to the motive in this case." Urbanski is white, and Collins was black.
But in court on Monday, there was no mention by the prosecution, the judge or defense about a hate crime. Also, in a statement of charges, a public document that lays out the evidence against Urbanski, a section for hate crime was left unchecked. Prince George's County States Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said Monday afternoon that there is no conclusive evidence of a hate crime, and that the investigation is ongoing.
“This case as all others, we consider every angle,” said Alsobrooks. “Whether or not it is a hate crime is one of those angles that will be considered. I can tell you that at this early stage in this investigation, we do not have enough evidence to say conclusively whether this is a hate crime. It is certainly something we will look at with the assistance of all partners, and if this is where the evidence leads us, we will reach that conclusion. Until then, we certainly will not speculate. Again, we think this is so important that we have to get it right. We will continue to look at it until we get the right answers.”
“At the end of the day, this community is hurting and it's extending beyond the University of Maryland community, it's extending beyond the Bowie State University community, our county,” said Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski on Monday. “It is an important and difficult time and the state’s attorney has rightly assessed that the best way for us to succeed is to succeed in concert.”
The FBI is now assisting with digital forensics to see what else Urbanski was involved with online.
Urbanski, who is from Severna Park, Md., is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and first-degree assault. He appeared at Monday's hearing via closed-circuit TV, and said nothing. His parents were in the courtroom, but they did not comment.
A vigil was held Monday night for Collins. His family was too devastated to speak Sunday, so their pastor, Darryl Godlock, served as a spokesman.
"This was a good kid and he was going places," Godlock said. "He was going places and he had high aspirations to achieve all the goals that he set before him as far as his military career. We're just devastated that his life has just been taken away with this senseless act of violence."
Godlock said Collins' father was in the Navy and Collins wanted to follow in his footsteps serving in the military. He was part of the Army's Intelligence Division, according to Godlock.
"He loved his family, he loved people and he loved God," he said. "We're in shock at what has happened to him."