Judge Denies Bail to Harvard Grad Student

More detailed accounts of stabbing emerge at hearing

Andrew M. Sadowski

Harvard graduate student ALEXANDER PRING-WILSON confers with his lawyers during a bail hearing Friday morning.

A judge denied bail Friday to the Harvard graduate student charged with fatally stabbing an 18-year-old Cambridge man, citing the severity of the accusations facing the defendant.

Following about an hour of oral arguments, Cambridge District Court Judge Severlin B. Singleton III ordered that Alexander Pring-Wilson, a student at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian studies, remain in jail pending trial for murder.

After reading 60 letters submitted on Pring-Wilson’s behalf by professors, friends and family, Singleton said he was “struck by the fact that [Pring-Wilson] seems to be an extraordinary individual” with “a bright future or maybe a bright future.”

“However, these facts do not outweigh the severity of this offense,” Singleton said.

Pring-Wilson, 25, is charged with the murder of Michael D. Colono outside of a local pizza parlor during the early morning hours of April 12.

Pring-Wilson’s attorney says his client acted in self-defense after being attacked by Colono and another man.

Assistant District Attorney Adrienne Lynch argued that Pring-Wilson poses too much of a flight risk to be released from jail. The defense had requested that Pring-Wilson be released on $100,000 cash bail and placed under house arrest.

Lynch said that Pring-Wilson’s ability to speak multiple languages and a history of international travel could allow him to flee.

Pring-Wilson’s attorney said he plans to appeal the judge’s ruling.

While the circumstances surrounding the stabbing remain disputed, attorneys for both the defense and the prosecution rounded out their accounts of an altercation turned deadly.

Early last Saturday morning, Pring-Wilson was walking to his apartment in Davis Square from the Western Front, a pub in Brighton.

Jeffrey Denner, Pring-Wilson’s lawyer, said his client had been drinking—vodka before leaving to go out around 11:30 p.m., and then four or five whiskey and cokes while he was out.

As he walked past Pizza Ring on Western Ave. in Cambridge, Pring-Wilson, who was talking to his fiancée on his cell phone, overheard a man in a parked car say something about him, his attorney said.

According to prosecutors’ account, Colono, who was sitting in a car with his cousin and a woman, commented on Pring-Wilson, pointing out “that guy staggering” up the street.

Denner and prosecutors agree that after overhearing the remark Pring-Wilson approached the car, and a verbal altercation ensued.

Pring-Wilson opened the car door, and the altercation escalated into a fistfight, Lynch said.