Defense attorneys for the former University of Maryland student charged in the fatal stabbing of 2nd Lt. Richard Collins want his trial to be pushed back for a fourth time.
Sean Urbanski is charged with murder and a hate crime in the death of Collins, who was killed while waiting at a campus bus stop in May 2017. His trial was originally scheduled for January 2018.
It was later pushed back to July of that year. And then to January of the next year following State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks departure to County Executive, sending a new group of lawyers to the case. Finally, it was scheduled for July 2019 and is set to start in less than two weeks.
But in a filing dated June 28, according to the Associated Press, Urbanski’s lawyers argued they needed more time to sort through evidence from his cell phone, which has been at the center of the case’s recent delays.
In June, Judge Lawrence Hill ruled that the contested evidence — which consisted of images saved to Urbanski’s phone over a period of about four months — was admissible in court, despite his lawyers’ efforts to bar them.
The photos included racist memes and some advocated violence, Hill said. Prosecutors have maintained that they are relevant to the case because they show why Urbanski selected Collins, a black Bowie State student whom he did not know, as his victim. But Urbanki’s lawyers contend the images have no connection to the crime and would subject him to unfair prejudice.
Neither Urbanski’s lawyers nor the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting the case, were immediately available for comment.
The defense wrote in its motion that prosecutors only recently handed over a digital copy of Urbanski’s phone, which they need an expert to analyze, the AP reported. But prosecutors said the defense didn’t ask for it until May 17, and they provided it a week later.
“The defense in this case have had almost two years to prepare for this case, unlike the prosecutorial team that came to the case in January,” the prosecution wrote in a filing from Monday, according to the AP.