(COLLEGE PARK, Md.) -- A white University of Maryland student accused of fatally stabbing a black man on campus was held without bond after he made his first appearance in court Monday via closed-circuit TV.
The FBI is investigating the fatal assault of Richard Collins III, a student at Bowie State University, as a possible hate crime.
The suspect, Sean Christopher Urbanski, has been charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder and first-degree assault.
Before the early Saturday morning attack on the University of Maryland campus, officials said Urbanski allegedly said to Collins, “Step left, step left, if you know what’s good for you.” The victim looked “puzzled” and “said no," officials said. Urbanski then allegedly stabbed the victim in the chest, officials said.
Officials said Urbanski was a member of a Facebook group named "Alt-Reich." The Associated Press said that in the group "members post disparaging material about African-Americans and others."
Urbanski wore an orange jumpsuit Monday when he appeared via closed-circuit video from the Prince George's County Correctional Facility. Urbanski's attorney, William Brennan, said his client was intoxicated and incoherent and said he has no criminal record. Both of Urbanski's parents were in court.
Brennan asked for a combination bond of money and an ankle GPS monitor. Brennan asked to restrict travel to Urbanski's parents' home and said his client would undergo alcohol and substance abuse treatment as well as a mental health evaluation.
The judge said she will allow Urbanski's lawyers to research and evaluate the option of GPS monitoring, and in the meantime, he will be held without bond.
His preliminary hearing was scheduled for June 15.
Collins, who was recently commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army, was set to graduate this Tuesday from Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland, about 11 miles from the University of Maryland in College Park.
A candlelight vigil will be held at Bowie State University tonight for Collins and a moment of silence will be held during Tuesday's graduation ceremony.
“Richie wouldn’t hurt a fly," said Reverend Darryl Godlock of Calvert County Baptist Church, who is serving as a spokesperson for the Collins family. He called this a "random act of violence that has taken a young man as he’s about to start his career.”
Collins' younger sister attends the University of Maryland, according to Godlock.
Bowie State University President Mickey Burnim said in a statement, "Our first thoughts of condolence go to the family for this tremendous loss of a son, who had the promise of a bright future. Our prayers of concern also extend to those within the Bowie State University community as we try to cope with this tragic loss of life.
"As we struggle to deal with our emotions, let’s find appropriate ways to express our sorrow and hope for justice," Burnim added. "Let’s remember our words and actions have the power to heal and the power to hurt. Let's strive to use our actions to bring comfort and peace."
University of Maryland President Wallace Loh Statement said in a statement, "The horrific assault that took the life of a young man on our campus on Saturday morning has shocked, saddened, and angered our community and beyond.
"As we search for answers to this senseless crime, please continue to keep the family and friends of Lt. Collins, and the BSU community, in your thoughts and prayers," Loh continued.
Loh added, "The safety of our campus community remains a top priority. UMPD has increased substantially its visible patrols, on and off campus. The Prince George's County Police has also increased its patrols in the College Park community. UMPD is monitoring 24/7 the hundreds of video security cameras throughout the campus. The Department of Transportation Services has initiated NITE Ride, a curb-to-curb bus service that runs from dusk to 6 a.m."
"However, increased police security is not sufficient," Loh added. "We must all do more to nurture a climate -- on campus and beyond -- where we stand against hate, we fight against hate crimes, and we reaffirm the values that define us a university and as a democracy."
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