Former Maryland Student Faces Murder and Hate Crime Charges

criminal defense case

Suspect’s Phone Had Evidence of White Supremacist Sympathies

A 24-year-old former University of Maryland student has been arrested and charged with first degree murder in the slaying of a campus visitor in May, 2017. According to police officers, the Maryland student fatally stabbed Army 2nd Lt. Richard Collins III, a student at Bowie State University. The defendant is Caucasian and the victim was African-American.

In the course of the investigation into the crime, police found a Facebook page on the defendant’s phone that showed what University of Maryland police chief David Mitchell referred to as “extreme bias against women, Latinos, persons of Jewish faith and especially African-Americans.” The defendant’s phone showed that he subscribed to a Facebook group called “Alt-Reich: Nation,” whose members expressed and shared white supremacist ideologies.

Police say that Collins was visiting friends at the College Park campus when the defendant confronted him at a bus stop, telling him to “step left if you know what’s best for you.” When Collins refused, the defendant stabbed him in the chest.

Attorneys for the defendant have sought to have the phone evidence excluded, saying it is not relevant to the case. Prosecutors allege, however, that the evidence supports the assertion that the defendant made a “purposeful selection” to confront Collins because he was African-American.

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