By Mark F. Gray, AFRO Staff Writer, [email protected]
Pretrial maneuvering by attorneys representing the man who is accused of killing a Bowie State University student at the University of Maryland continues. In separate motions, the defense representing Sean Urbanski have filed petitions to bar expert testimony from an authority on White supremacy, and his ex-girlfriend wants to be excused from testifying at the murder trial, which starts in December.
Urbanski is facing charges of first-degree murder and a hate crime in the death of U.S. Army Lt. Richard Collins III. He is believed to have fatally stabbed Collins, a Bowie State University student, on May 20, 2017. Collins death happened at a bus stop on the College Park campus days before his graduation, and two days after he was commissioned as a U.S. Army second lieutenant.
Urbanski’s attorneys, William Brennan and John McKenna, argue that Prince George’s County prosecutors waited until 30 days before Urbanski’s Dec. 9 trial begins to call Jessie Daniels as an expert witness. Daniels, a professor at The City University of New York, is reportedly expected “to testify about the Alt-Reich, its history, origins, ideology and members.” She is reportedly in the midst of writing a book, “Tweetstorm: The Rise of the ‘Alt-Right’ and the Mainstreaming of White Nationalism,” according to the university’s website.
The defendant is alleged to be a member of the “Alt-Reich: Nation” Facebook group. However, his defense team contends allowing Daniels testimony would confuse the jury and “incorrectly suggest” the Facebook group was part of the White nationalist organization. Brennan and McKenna are also reportedly stipulating that the motion to include this expert’s testimony was inexcusably late especially since the trial has been delayed four times.
”The State has no justifiable reason for withholding this notice of intention to present expert testimony for more than two years,” the defense wrote. They also claim the team wouldn’t be able to adequately prepare a defense or seek its own expert witness to refute Daniels testimony. Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Hill Jr. ruled that racist memes found on Urbanski’s cellphone can be used as evidence at his trial last June.
Meanwhile, Urbanski’s ex-girlfriend, Kim Stringer, is asking to be excused from testifying because her representatives says Urbanski is misguided in his belief she would testify that the 24-year-old White man, was not racially motivated to commit the crime. Stringer doesn’t have any relevant testimony that would assist Urbanski’s defense, according to her attorney, Timothy Maloney, who added that the subpoena creates a “great inconvenience” and “significant anxiety” for Stringer, a student at a college in Fresno, California.
“The subpoena to the former girlfriend has been issued for the purpose of harassment, and not for any relevant purpose related to the upcoming trial,” Maloney wrote.
Urbanski could face up to life in prison with no chance of parole for first-degree murder and 20 years for the charge of a state hate crime resulting in death, if he is convicted.