The second trial of Former Harvard grad student Alexander Pring-Wilson began with opening statements on Wednesday. Pring-Wilson, now 29, was convicted of manslaughter three years ago for the 2003 stabbing death of 18-year-old Michael Colono.
A judge, however, ordered a retrial after the Massachusetts Judicial Supreme Court ruled in a different case that jurors should be given the opportunity to look at a victim’s violent history if it supports a defendant’s self-defense claim.
Pring-Wilson has always maintained that he acted in self-defense because Colono and his cousin, Samuel Rodriguez, were beating him up.
Rodriguez, however, has said that the former Harvard grad student repeatedly stabbed Colono with a Spyderco military folding knife for making fun of him. Pring-Wilson is accused of stabbing Colono 5 times in 70 seconds.
Details regarding Colono’s violent history were withheld during the last trial can now be revealed by the defense. Information that is now admissible includes Colono’s arrest for throwing money into a cashier’s face at a pizza place and destroying the restaurant’s glass door, as well as another arrest for allegedly assaulting subway passengers.
More details about Rodriguez’s criminal record and violent past will also be revealed to jury members. Domestic violence incidents, an attempt to knife his brother-in-law, and attacking a car rider after egging the motor vehicle are some of the incidents that are expected to be revealed by the defense.
On Wednesday, jury members toured the scene of the fight on Western Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
If the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Alexander-Pring Wilson is guilty of the charges, then the jury must find him not guilty.
Retrial Starts For Former Harvard Student Charged In Stabbing Death, WCBV, November 7, 2007
Jury selected in Pring-Wilson retrial, Boston.com, November 6, 2007
Manslaughter Retrial Begins for Former Grad Student, Harvard Crimson, November 5, 2007
Related Web Resources:
Justice for Alexander Pring-Wilson, Alexander Pring-Wilson.org
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