The white University of Maryland student accused of stabbing a black Bowie State University student to death this spring has been indicted, and video of the entire encounter has been instrumental in the case, officials say.
Sean Christopher Urbanski, 22, is headed to trial for allegedly killing Richard Collins III, 23, on May 20, just three days before Collins was set to graduate from the historically black college. The killing that police say was unprovoked sparked discussions across the country about hate on college campuses.
The killing was investigated by local police and the FBI as a possible hate crime, but prosecutors were not able to bring hate crime charges against Urbanski, Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said.
"We didn't have enough today," she said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
Urbanski previously was found to have been a part of a Facebook group called "Alt-Reich Nation," where members post disparaging material about African Americans and others.
It's often difficult to build a hate crime case, Alsobrooks said.
"Developing a motive is always a challenging aspect of a case. In this case, and in any other case, you can't get it wrong," she said.
"Why is something that we all want to know," Alsobrooks continued.
The investigation is ongoing. Should the evidence warrant it, it's still possible that Urbanski could be charged with a hate crime in the future.
Video of the fatal attack has been crucial to the case, said Chief Joseph Ruddy, who leads the Prince George's County homicide unit.
"There's video evidence that captured the entire incident that occurred and the stabbing of Lieutenant Collins," he said at the news conference.
Security cameras are mounted near the bus stop where Collins was stabbed.
Prosecutors will seek a life without parole sentence on murder charges for Urbanski. They are still going through Urbanski's electronic devices for possible evidence.
Collins served in the ROTC and had just been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army. He had a "loving and giving heart," his devastated father said in the days after Collins' death.
Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.