Demarius Reed

Arrested EMU players charged with attacking relative of man who shot, killed teammate

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Yesterday we noted that a trio of Eastern Michigan football players had been charged with aggravated assault in connection to an incident last Friday afternoon, although no details were released.

That changed a day later, and it casts the incident in a slightly different light.

According to court records obtained by mlive.com, EMU defensive back Darius Scott and wide receivers Quincy Jones and Jay Jones (pictured) stand accused of assaulting 24-year-old Demarko Taylor.  Taylor is the cousin of Kristopher Pratt, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to the second-degree murder of Demarius Reed.

Reed was an EMU receiver at the time of his murder last October. Suffice to say, the relationship between Pratt and Taylor — Taylor was at a party with Pratt a few hours before the shooting and had talked to Reed — played a role in the latter’s alleged assault.

From a phone conversation Taylor had with the website:

He said he was walking back home after a trip to the store Kampus Korner, 819 Huron River Drive, and he saw the trio drive by him.

He said he was with two friends and told them, “Watch, they’re going to turn around and jump me.” Not long after, he said the Dodge sedan the three players were in turned back around. Taylor said he tried to talk to them, saying he had nothing to do with Reed’s murder, but the players didn’t listen.

“They’re not trying to hear it,” he said. “They want revenge or something.”

Taylor suffered a broken facial bone and required stitches, with the website writing that “[h]e was taken to a local hospital and was in stable condition after the assault.” No weapons were used in the alleged assault, police said.

There had been one prior run-in between Taylor and EMU football players prior to the incident late last week, the alleged victim said.

All three of the football players were released on a $5,000 bond Friday evening. Scott and Quincy Jones have pretrial hearings set for next Monday, while none has been scheduled for the other Jones.

The school is aware of the situation, which is why none of the players participated in the season opener Saturday. There is no word on whether any of the three will play this weekend against Florida at The Swamp.

Jay Jones, a redshirt junior, was third on the Eagles last year with 25 receptions for 293 yards in starting 10 games. Scott has started 12 games the past two seasons, including five as a junior last season.

Quincy Jones has totaled 10 receptions 84 yards during his time in Ypsilanti.

One of two suspected murderers of EMU player pleads guilty

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A man suspected of murdering Eastern Michigan wide receiver Demarius Reed has pleaded guilty of the crime. Kristopher Pratt entered a plea agreement on Friday in Washtenaw County Trial Court in which he admitted guilt to second-degree murder. As part of the plea deal, Pratt will testify against Ed Thomas, the second man accused of murdering Reed, according to the Associated Press.

Pratt confessed to a county judge to following Reed into an apartment with the intent to rob the football player. Pratt admitted to shooting Reed twice in the side, according to the Associated Press. His testimony will be critical for the trial of Thomas, which is scheduled to begin Monday. A defense lawyer has said there is not enough evidence to convict Thomas, but testimony from Pratt could change that outcome.

Reed ws found dead in his apartment the morning of October 18, when his roommate discovered the scene. Police had suspected Reed was the victim of an armed robbery. A little more than a month later Pratt and Thomas were charged for the murder as well as armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

In Eastern Michigan’s first football game since the homicide, the Eagles returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown in one of the most heartwarming moments of the 2013 college football season. This season Eastern Michigan will begin playing on a new, gray playing field affectionately known as The Factory. Just beneath the surface of the new playing turf is Reed’s football uniform. Players and coaches gathered to honor Reed and bury his jersey in the ground before the new playing surface was installed.

Trial set for suspects in murder of Eastern Michigan player

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Two men accused of murdering an Eastern Michigan football player last October will go to trial on murder charges. Demarius Reed was the victim of a homicide on October 18 outside his off-campus apartment.

On Monday a plausible cause hearing was held in a district court. Lawyers for the defendants, Kristopher Pratt and Ed Thomas, made the argument there was not enough evidence to support any accusations of murder.

“At best, they have indicated there was a shooting, that a death occurred and perhaps Ed Thomas was present,” said public defender Gina Noveskey, Thomas’s attorney. “I don’t believe the people have shown that Ed Thomas had any role whatsoever in the death of Demarius Reed.”

That argument fell flat in front of a distract judge, although a charge of conspiracy to commit armed robbery was dropped before a hearing was scheduled for March 25. A jury will be asked to decide between convicting of first or second-degree murder for either defendant.

Photo: Eastern Michigan Athletics

Two charged with murder in shooting death of EMU player

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Ed Jemeal Thomas and Kristopher Kravon Pratt have been charged with murder in the October shooting death of Eastern Michigan player Demarius Reed, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The pair of 20-year-olds, in addition to murder, were charged with armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, as officials told the Tribune Reed was likely killed in a robbery attempt. Reed was shot multiple times and killed in a hallway of his apartment near the campus of Eastern Michigan. His roommate discovered his body the morning of Oct. 18.

The Tribune talked to both of Reed’s parents about the charges — his mother, Tanesha, told the paper:

“I’ve gotten to a stable place. It’s just been really hard, you know? A lot of ups and downs. And I know they got the guys who did it,’’ she said. “I’m doing a lot better. I’m just grateful that I was given a son as wonderful as Demarius was.”

(Photo credit: EMU athletics)