Ed Thomas was found not guilty in the murder of Eastern Michigan University wide receiver Demarius Reed on Monday.
Thomas, 21 of Detroit Mich., was arrested with Kristopher Pratt for Reed’s murder. Pratt confessed to murdering Reed in exchange for a reduced sentence and agreeing to testify against Thomas.
Pratt said that he shot Reed twice but it was Thomas who pointed Reed out and suggested robbing him. The prosecution also used cell phone records and ballistic evidence in its case against Thomas.
Thomas’s defense team was led by Lauren Brown the first assistant public defender for Washtenaw County. She maintained that Thomas, although present at the time of the murder, was a bystander to the crime and not a participant. Throughout the case Brown repeated that Pratt’s testimony was “Bought and paid for.”
Thomas was found not guilty by a trial by jury yesterday afternoon.
Nine months after Reed was found dead in the stair case of his University Green apartment building students on campus share their opinions of the fate of the Chicago Native and the results of the trial.
“I can’t believe it,” Latasha Jones, a hospitality management and communications major said.
“That seems odd,” Assistant Director of Operations of the Early College Alliance Randal Cooper said. “I feel they wouldn’t press charges if they didn’t have a compelling case against him.”
“I really feel like the justice system failed and slipped on that one,” Allen Jackson, a senior majoring in accounting said.
“I guess I’d be disappointed just because it seemed that they had a stronger case then that,” Jina Mann, a senior majoring in Speech Pathology said. “But I can’t be completely upset if they didn’t have the evidence for it.”
Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations at EMU, Greg Steiner, said there would be no statement regarding the legal outcome of the case.