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Jury acquits man in Eastern Michigan player death

Jurors acquit 2nd man in robbery-slaying of Eastern Michigan football player Demarius Reed
Posted on July 28, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on July 28, 2014 at 1:37 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A jury on Monday acquitted a man in the robbery-slaying of Eastern Michigan University football player Demarius Reed.

The Washtenaw County Circuit Court jury reached the not guilty verdict in the trial of Ed Thomas, 21, one of two men charged in the slaying of the 20-year-old wide receiver from Chicago.

The other man charged, Kristopher Pratt, 20, accepted a deal and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, testifying that he shot Reed and Thomas participated in the Oct. 18 robbery.

The jury acquitted Thomas on open murder, armed robber and conspiracy charges.

“I’m surprised and disappointed,” Ypsilanti police Lt. Thomas Eberts, one of the lead investigators of the killing, told The Ann Arbor News. “I believe we had the right person.”

In closing arguments Monday, Assistant Prosecutor Nimish Ganatra said Thomas was just as guilty as the admitted triggerman, Pratt, who was a key witness against Thomas.

Ganatra said Thomas spotted Reed and pointed him out to Pratt. Thomas handed Pratt the gun that he used to kill Reed, Ganatra said.

“They knew exactly what they were getting into, they knew exactly what they were doing,” Ganatra said.

After Pratt shot Reed once in the chest, Thomas stole Reed’s wallet and phone, then Pratt shot Reed again in the face, Ganatra said.

But Defense lawyer Lorne Brown argued that the case rested on false testimony by Pratt. Thomas was just hanging out with Pratt the night of the killing and was not part of the crime, Brown said.

“He’s got the deal of a lifetime,” Brown said. “He was offered the chance to trade in his entire life in prison, and all he had to do was lie on Ed Thomas.”

Brown acknowledged that his client witnessed the killing and didn’t report it.

“On the other hand, he didn’t involve himself with what Kristopher Pratt did,” the defense lawyer said. “The prosecution didn’t prove that. Most importantly, he didn’t do it.”




 FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 file photo, an ambulance departs Bellevue Hospital in New York where patients were being evacuated. When Superstorm Sandy slammed into the Northeast nearly two years ago, hospitals found themselves dealing with surges in patients, lost power supplies and employees who couldn’t get to work _ problems that a new federal report finds they were not prepared to handle. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Inspector General Office released a study Wednesday Sept. 17, 2014 on the emergency preparedness and response during the storm at 172 hospitals in the hardest-hit areas of New York, most of Connecticut and all of New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Updated 1 hour ago

Updated 1 hour ago
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