|Pring-Wilson testifies at a hearting in 2004 (Boston Herald)|
Unfortunately, that may not be enough for the Colono family. In his deal, Pring-Wilson is expected to receive a 2 year prison sentence, of which Leone says Pring-Wilson will have to serve at least one. Pring-Wilson was already convicted on a charge of manslaughter in 2004, but this was overturned when the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that a victim's past criminal history should be allowed to be introduced as evidence when a defendant claims self-defense - something that was not allowed in Pring-Wilson's first trial. Pring-Wilson's second trial ended in a hung jury, prompting the Middlesex DA to vow a third trial. According to the Boston Channel, which cited a Pring-Wilson family friend, Pring-Wilson avoids a possible 7 year sentence, which he could have recieved if he were convicted in trial number three.
|Victim Michael Colono and girlfriend Cindy Guzman|
Pring-Wilson's actions that night were criminal, but what added to suspicions of the validity of his claims of self-defense were his actions following the incident. On a 911 call he stated that he was simply "a fuckin' bystander" and that he "just saw it happen." He also gave conflicting reports to police shortly following the incident. Certainly not the actions of a man who acted in self-defense.
Additionally, many people are making a big deal of Colono's past criminal history. All of his prior arrests were for crimes against property orverbal threats against police officers; nothing physically violent against other people. No prior assaults. Colono's cousin, Samuel Rodriguez, however, had several prior arrests for assaults, yet he was not charged with assault in this case and he was not stabbed. It was based on the fact that the jury did not know the specifics of Colono's past arrests (though jurors admitted they knew Colono was not a "solid citizen"). But should Colono's past be so important in the case, given that Pring-Wilson himself did not know it when he got involved with him that night?
|The Pizza Ring, outside of which Pring-Wilson killed Colono|