Pring-Wilson Found Guilty

Former Harvard grad student sentenced to 6 to 8 years for manslaughter

Associated Press

Alexander Pring-Wilson, a former Harvard grad student charged with first degree murder for stabbing a local teen, was convicted for manslaughter.

After a month-long trial and 21 hours of deliberation, a jury convicted former Harvard graduate student Alexander Pring-Wilson of voluntary manslaughter yesterday morning.

Following emotional statements from the victim’s relatives and Pring-Wilson’s parents, Cambridge Superior Court Judge Regina Quinlan sentenced Pring-Wilson, 26, to eight years in prison, with the option for parole after six.

The trial, which was broadcast by Court TV, has drawn national attention because of the perceived tension between the wealthy white student and the Hispanic victim.

Pring-Wilson fatally stabbed Cambridge teen Michael D. Colono in the early morning hours of April 12, 2003 following an altercation outside of a pizza parlor.

Defense attorney E. Peter Parker said that the defense plans to appeal the verdict within the 30-day time limit.

But District Attorney Martha Coakley said in a press conference yesterday afternoon that her office is satisfied with the outcome.

“We never take delight in a guilty verdict,” she said. “[But] some justice was obtained and Alexander Pring-Wilson was held accountable for the killing of Michael Colono.”

Those close to Alexander Pring-Wilson said the verdict and sentencing were unduly harsh (Please see story, below).

Before the sentencing, Colono’s mother, sisters and ex-girlfriend presented tearful statements about their loss and asked the judge to put Pring-Wilson behind bars for up to 20 years.

PATH TO THE VERDICT

A court clerk said yesterday that Pring-Wilson will not go directly to the Massachusetts Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison.

He must first go to the state prison in Concord, where the Department of Corrections will decide where he will serve.

Like the trip ahead, Pring-Wilson’s road to prison has been anything but direct.

According to accounts presented in court, Pring-Wilson, a student at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, was walking to his Somerville home after a night of bar-hopping when he got into a fight with Colono outside Pizza Ring on Western Ave.

Colono, who was seated in his car with two others, allegedly made a comment to Pring-Wilson as he passed. Pring-Wilson allegedly opened the door of Colono’s car, instigating a fight.

But during the trial, Pring-Wilson’s attorneys argued that Colono was the one who opened the car door, causing Pring-Wilson to use his three-inch Spyderco military blade in an act of self-defense.