Prosecutors in the Alexander Pring-Wilson murder trial plan to rest their case today, capping off nearly two weeks of testimony with what could be the trial’s most emotional witnesses.
Three relatives of the victim, Michael Colono, are slated to take the stand today. And in a move that is likely to tug at the jurors’ heart strings, Cindy Guzzman, the mother of Colono’s four-year-old daughter, will be the prosecution’s final witness.
In April 2003, Colono was stabbed to death by former Harvard graduate student Pring-Wilson, 26, after an altercation outside of a Cambridge Pizza Ring.
Expert witnesses called over the past two days have pieced together forensic evidence from the fatal night, interpreting cuts in Colono’s jacket and blood stains on his shirt.
On Tuesday, jurors got their first glimpse of the light-blue jersey Colono wore on the night of his death and the large musty-brown blood stain running down its left side.
But it was Colono’s black leather jacket that became a point of contention in court yesterday when a forensic chemist from the Massachusetts State Police crime lab, John Soares, said the jacket did not appear to have blood or stab marks when he first examined it on the morning after the stabbing.
Lawyers for Pring-Wilson, who have argued their client was acting in self-defense when he stabbed Colono, seized upon Soares’ testimony. They noted that the cut marks were only discovered after Colono’s family took custody of the clothing.
Still, another chemist in the state crime lab, Eugene Hagan, said the cuts in Colono’s jacket were consistent with his wounds. Three of the four cut marks had blood around the edges.
The prosecution and defense also argued about Pring-Wilson’s physical and mental condition after the stabbing.
On Tuesday, Dr. Richard Ma, who examined Pring-Wilson the morning after his arrest when he complained of a headache, testified that the defendant’s CT scan was normal, but that Pring-Wilson had a bump on the head and a possible concussion.
Ma also examined Pring-Wilson a day later when Pring-Wilson complained of more head pain, and he said that “the pain was out of proportion to the [medical] exam.”
The prosecution has argued that Pring-Wilson was not suffering from a dehabilitating head injury, but rather that he was intoxicated.
A Court TV audience poll found that 73 percent of the channel’s viewers believed that it made a difference to the case whether Pring-Wilson was drunk at the time of the incident.
In the cross-examination of medical examiner Faryl Sandler, who performed Colono’s autopsy, defense attorney Rick Levinson emphasized that she measured Colono at 6’2 and 207 lbs., implying that the victim’s build could have been a physical threat.
Levinson also confirmed Colono’s physical strength by asking Sandler, “You called them [Colono’s arms] well developed?” Sandler said yes.
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