In Massachusetts, the second murder trial of former Harvard graduate student Alexander Pring-Wilson has ended in a mistrial. Middlesex Superior Court judge Christopher Muse granted a mistrial in the case because the jury was hopelessly deadlocked. They were unable to reach a verdict after deliberating for 10 days.
Pring-Wilson, 29, is charged with manslaughter in the 2003 stabbing murder of 18-year-old Michael Colono. The killing took place in Cambridge during a drunken, late-night brawl. Wilson stabbed Colono a number of times with a military folding knife.
Pring-Wilson was convicted of manslaughter in 2004 and sentenced to six to eight years in prison. In 2005, his conviction was overturned and the Massachusetts’s Supreme Judicial Court, however, granted him a new trial when it ruled that jurors should have been informed of Colono’s criminal and violent history.
The 29-year-old former student has always maintained that he acted in self-defense and that Colono and his cousin were the instigators of the attack. Pring-Wilson has been out on bail since his conviction was overturned.
If you have been arrested for any kind of crime in Massachusetts, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Even when all the evidence is against you, a good criminal defense attorney can still determine whether there are special circumstances that could persuade the persecution to charge you with a lesser crime or convince a jury to set you free. You deserve a fair trial.
A mistrial is a trial that ends before a resolution is reached. A judge can grant a mistrial for different reasons. A jury may have become tainted because it was given improper evidence. A jury is unable to reach a verdict. The defense or the prosecution may ask for the mistrial.
It is not known at this time whether Pring-Wilson will stand trial for a third time.
When a mistrial is declared, a new trial may be granted. Or, if circumstances allow the defendant to cite the Double Jeopardy Clause-which makes it impossible for the person to be tried more than once for the same crime-the defendant may go free.
Mistrial granted in trial of Harvard graduate student, Boston Globe, December 14, 2007
Ex-Harvard Student’s Retrial Ends In Mistrial, BostonChannel.com, December 14, 2007
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Justice for Alexander Pring-Wilson
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