Jury Selection Starts In EMU Football Player Slaying
ANN ARBOR (AP/CBS Detroit) – Jury selection has started in the trial of a man in the fatal shooting of Eastern Michigan University football player Demarius Reed.
The Ann Arbor News reports opening statements could take place Tuesday if a jury is picked Monday in Washtenaw County Trial Court. Judge Donald Shelton says 21-year-old Ed Thomas of Detroit rejected an offer of a plea deal.
On Friday, 20-year-old Kristopher Pratt of Detroit pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He agreed to testify against Thomas.
Thomas and Pratt are accused of killing Reed on Oct. 18 in the hallway of the off-campus University Green apartments, on Green Road near Leforge Road, where Reed lived. Police said Reed was shot multiple times, including at least once in the face. His wallet and cellphone were taken.
Pratt told the court that he and Thomas followed Reed into the building with the intention of robbing the 20-year-old wide receiver from Chicago. Pratt confessed that he shot Reed twice.
According to investigators, a party was taking place at the time Reed was killed. Ypsilanti’s Interim Police Chief Tony DeGiusti said several students at the party reported hearing gunshots, but none of them called police. He also said at least one person walked past Reed as he lay on the stairwell, but didn’t call the police “because they just thought he was someone passed-out from the party.”
Reed’s wallet and cellphone were taken.
Investigators said they matched bullet casings found near Reed’s body with Pratt’s 9mm gun.
A defense lawyer has said there isn’t enough evidence to show Thomas committed the crime.
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