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Pring-Wilson Family Alleges Harassment

Complaint to CPD describes threats from friends of victim

By Jenifer L. Steinhardt, Crimson Staff Writer

Family of the Harvard graduate student charged with first degree murder have filed a complaint with the Cambridge Police Department (CPD), alleging they were harassed at the defendant’s arraignment in Superior Court.

According to CPD spokesperson Frank D. Pasquarello, a man and woman from Colorado Springs, Colo., the hometown of defendant Alexander Pring-Wilson, filed a harassment complaint with CPD after Tuesday’s hearing at the Middlesex Superior Courthouse.

The Boston Globe reported yesterday that Pring-Wilson’s parents alleged they had been threatened by friends of the stabbing victim, 18-year-old Cambridgeport resident Michael D. Colono.

Pring-Wilson’s attorney, Jeffrey A. Denner, confirmed that the complaint was filed by the defendant’s family members but declined to elaborate.

Pring-Wilson, a student at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, is charged with stabbing Colono to death April 12 after an early morning altercation outside of Pizza Ring, a local pizza parlor.

Denner said that Pring-Wilson posted $400,000 bail Wednesday afternoon, and returned to his Somerville apartment where he will be monitored by an electronic bracelet for the duration of his trial.

On Tuesday, a Superior Court judge overturned the lower court ruling that had kept the 25-year-old Pring-Wilson behind bars since his arrest the day of the stabbing.

Only allowed to leave his apartment to visit his attorney or for medical reasons, Pring-Wilson will spend time helping to prepare his defense and working on his master’s thesis, Denner said.

Abigail C. Lackman ’03, who took several foreign language courses with Pring-Wilson, said she and other friends were thrilled to hear of his release from jail.

“We’re all really excited, relieved and happy. We all do intend to visit him as soon as we get permission from his lawyer,” Lackman said.

Denner said Pring-Wilson has taken a voluntarily leave-of-absence from the University. He had originally been scheduled to earn his master’s this spring.

Despite the alleged threats, Denner said he is not concerned for his client’s security now that he has been released from jail.

“I think sometimes emotions run high,” Denner said. “But my expectation is that everything will calm down.”

Meanwhile, the trial is receiving national press attention. Denner appeared briefly Wednesday on Court TV to discuss Tuesday’s arraignment.

Denner said he would not be surprised if Court TV decided to televise the trial.

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for May 30 in Middlesex County Superior Court.

—Staff writer Jenifer L. Steinhardt can be reached at steinhar@fas.harvard.edu.

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