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Colorado Police Eye Arrested Student

By Jenifer L. Steinhardt, Crimson Staff Writer

Colorado police said yesterday they are looking into whether Alexander Pring-Wilson, the Harvard graduate student arrested for murder last month, was in Colorado Springs at the time of a fatal stabbing there last year.

But Pring-Wilson’s attorney maintains his client was in Cambridge at the time of that murder.

Pring-Wilson, a 25-year-old graduate student who had been studying at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, has been held in jail since he was arrested April 12 for the murder of Michael D. Colono, an 18-year-old Cambridge resident.

Lt. Skip Arms of the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) said his department is investigating whether Pring-Wilson—who is a Colorado Springs native—may have been involved in the April 26, 2002 murder of a woman near Colorado College.

Pring-Wilson graduated from Colorado College in 2000.

Arms said the circumstances of the Colorado murder are “similar” to those of Colono’s murder last month.

But according to Pring-Wilson’s attorney, Jeffrey Denner, any suggestion that Pring-Wilson was at all involved in the Colorado murder is “insulting, stupid and crazy.”

“He’s not considered a suspect there. There’s nothing linking him to this,” Denner said. “Why don’t we start linking him to every murder that ever happened in Colorado or Massachusetts or every place in between?”

Denner said he has evidence that his client was in Cambridge at the time of the Colorado Springs murder, including e-mails, credit-card bills and first-hand accounts of people who know Pring-Wilson.

Denner added that he is supplying a sample of Pring-Wilson’s DNA at CSPD’s request in order to end what he called the annoyance of “linking him to completely unrelated matters.”

In the Colorado incident, after a verbal altercation between the assailant and the victim—who was in her car—some sort of physical confrontation ensued, leaving the woman fatally stabbed, Arms said.

In last month’s incident, which occurred outside of a Cambridge pizza parlor, Pring-Wilson and Colono engaged in a verbal altercation as Pring-Wilson walked by the car in which Colono was seated.

Details surrounding the subsequent physical confrontation remain disputed, but Pring-Wilson stabbed Colono five times in what he said was an act of self-defense.

While Arms said Pring-Wilson fits the “general description” of the person seen running from the Colorado Springs crime scene, Denner disagreed.

According to Denner, witnesses described the alleged assailant as Hispanic and 30 to 40 pounds lighter than Pring-Wilson.

Pring-Wilson’s next bail hearing is scheduled for May 13 in Middlesex County Superior Court.

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

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