On Tuesday, a judge announced that a hate crime charge has been dropped in a case involving the fatal stabbing of U.S Army Lt. Richard Collins, III, reports WJZ-TV.
Sean Urbanski is on trial after killing Collins during a bus stop altercation in May 2017 outside the University of Maryland. The prosecution argued that Urbanski’s membership in the Facebook group “Alt-Reich: Nation,” a series of racist memes found on his phone and the fact that Urbanski is seen on video walking past a white man and Asian woman before harassing Collins constituted racial intent. The defense’s argument could be boiled down to “he was too drunk to be racist.”
While the judge dropped the hate crime charge, Urbanski still faces a charge of first-degree murder. On Wednesday the jury will hear the closing arguments. Should he be convicted, Urbanski could face life in prison without parole. It should be noted that the jurors do have the option to decide on a lesser charge. Collins was 23, days away from graduating college and had been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S Army at his time of death.