The court was packed as 20-year-old Ed Jermeal Thomas and Kaivon Kristopher Pratt of Detroit were led through separate doors of courtroom 9 of the Washtenaw County Trial Court in Ann Arbor, Tuesday. The Detroit men were charged with multiple felonies including armed robbery and the murder of EMU wide receiver Demarius Reed, a junior originally from Chicago majoring in communications.
A pretrial has been set for 1:30 p.m. June 3. The trial proper will start at 8 a.m. June 23. Motions by the attorneys in defense of their clients alleged crimes are to be filed and heard by May 27.
“My son was a wonderful person, hardworking, loving,” said Tanesha Reed, Demarius Reed’s mother. “He was a very generous person.”
Circuit Judge Donald E. Shelton began this preliminary hearing by ordering his microphone and the council’s microphones be turned off.
The defendant’s counsel took quite a bit of time to discuss the details of how to proceed with the trial of Thomas and Pratt.
“Demarius was a humble, hard working man,” Carl Reed, Demarius Reed’s father said before the hearing. “He loved his community, EMU, the city of Chicago – he was a family person. He was my inspiration.”
Both of the Chicago native’s parents said that they were satisfied with the handling of the investigation. Mrs. Reed expects that Thomas and Pratt will be found guilty after all is said and done.
Thomas was handcuffed at the hands and feet, wearing an orange jump suit. Pratt, also handcuffed, was wearing a green jump suit. There were about six police officers in the courtroom watching the two Detroit men.
Pratt, who sat through the process, appeared rather calm and collected. Thomas at times hunched over the manila envelopes that he held throughout the hearing.
“I’m just interested to see what’s next,” Mr. Reed said. “How it will ultimately turn out. Right now it’s just a waiting game. I’m hoping for the best.”
Ultimately Thomas and Pratt were charged with open murder and armed robbery, among other charges. Thomas is a father. The two men are being held without bond.
Reed was discovered in the stairwell of his University Green apartment building, dead by multiple gunshot wounds at 7:15 a.m. on October 18, 2013. Reed’s wallet and cell phone had been taken.
Judge Shelton decided the trial would have to be a double jury trial. This means that both Thomas and Pratt will receive their own juries in the case.
The prosecutor and counselors thanked the judge. Thomas and Pratt were led out of the courtroom through separate doors.
Staff Writer Curt Allain contributed to this story.