A Maryland judge on Tuesday dismissed hate-crime charges against a white man on trial for the fatal stabbing of a black student at a University of Maryland bus stop in 2017. Sean Urbanski, 24, is still charged with first-degree murder for allegedly killing 23-year-old Richard Collings III on May 20, 2017. Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Lawrence V. Hill Jr. ruled Tuesday that prosecutors had not met their legal burden in showing that Urbanski was motivated by racial hatred when he allegedly murdered Collins.
While the defense does not contest that Urbanski killed Collins—who was days away from graduating from Bowie State University and had just been commissioned as an Army officer—they argued the act was motived by over-drinking and not hate. Prosecutors alleged Urbanski was fueled by hate, as seen in the racist content on his phone and on Facebook. Closing arguments in the trial are expected Wednesday.