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Jury acquits man in Eastern Michigan player death

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.

Star Athlete Murdered in Michigan

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."

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niceguy71653 July 29 2014 at 7:56 AM

Your honor I was hanging with this dude and Iwatched him shoot this other dude in the ace adn take his stuff, but I didn't think it was no big deal. What the hell was wrong with that jury?

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Debbie July 29 2014 at 10:46 AM

Jury verdicts and punishments are not nearly severe enough...need to go back to the days of chain gangs and true hard time....these people are taking up oxygen on this planet and Ed Thomas is just as guilty as Kristopher Pratt...these people will kill for a quarter just as easily as 100.00 and they are not fit to exist among decent people. I would call them animals but that is an insult to the animal kingdom!

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vstlvlvaccaro July 29 2014 at 10:24 AM

Losers .... murder a man for his wallet and phone, one gets off and the other gets to play "Make a Deal" ... Only in the f'n USA ...

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petpetdon July 29 2014 at 6:25 AM

I was hanging around when this dude shot this other dude. I had nothing to do with it.

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rb July 28 2014 at 11:18 PM

What do you call 100 lying p.o.s. defense attorneys, lying on the bottom of the ocean...drowned? A good start.

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OSHP367 July 29 2014 at 10:48 PM

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

Bet his mom is real proud that her son beat the rap....

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kimcrdr July 29 2014 at 2:57 PM

this makes me wonder if the jury was made up of Thomas's family and friends!!!

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chuck July 29 2014 at 10:13 AM

it all depends on what lib you hire to get you off!

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