Sean Urbanski's lawyer said his client was drunk at the time of the fatal stabbing and asked jurors to return a second-degree murder conviction. File Photo courtesy of University of Maryland Police
Dec. 18 (UPI) -- A Maryland jury convicted a man of first-degree murder Wednesday for stabbing an Army lieutenant on the University of Maryland-College Park campus in 2017.
Sean Urbankski, 24, admitted to killing Richard Collins III, but his lawyers argued the U-Md student was drunk at the time. Collins, a Bowie State University student, was visiting the campus at the time of the attack.
"Not just drunk, he was super drunk, out of control, out of his mind," defense attorney John McKenna said during trial. "He didn't have the ability to form premeditation or intent."
McKenna sought a second-degree murder conviction for Urbanski.
At the time of the attack, police said Collins and his friends were approached by Urbanski as they stood near a road waiting for a bus. They realized the bus stopped running for the night and decided to call an Uber. Police described the attack, which was captured by a surveillance camera, as unprovoked.
In charging documents, police wrote that Urbanski said "Step left, step left if you know what's best for you," to which Collins said "no." The suspect continued to approach Collins and his friends prior to stabbing Collins once in the chest with a folding knife up to 4 inches long. Witnesses said Urbanski appeared intoxicated.
Collins, 23, was killed days before his college graduation. He completed ROTC in college and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
Prosecutors said Urbanski, who is white, killed Collins because he was black. The judge in the case dismissed a hate-crime charge against Urbanski on Tuesday.