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Jurors get case of Eastern Michigan player slaying

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A man on trial in the robbery-killing of Eastern Michigan University football player Demarius Reed was a full participant in the crimes and is just as guilty as the confessed gunman, a prosecutor told a Michigan jury Monday.

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The Washtenaw County Circuit Court jury is deliberating the fate of one of two men accused of killing Reed on Oct. 18 at an apartment off the university's campus in Ypsilanti.

Ed Thomas, 21, of Detroit, faces open murder and robbery charges. Open murder means the jury can consider both first- and second-degree murder verdicts.

In closing arguments Monday, Assistant Prosecutor Nimish Ganatra said Thomas is just as guilty as the admitted triggerman, Kristopher Pratt, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and testified against Thomas.

Ganatra said Thomas spotted Reed, a 20-year-old wide receiver from Chicago, and pointed him out to Pratt. Thomas handed Pratt, 20, 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.

Defense lawyer Lorne Brown said the case hangs on false testimony by Pratt. Thomas was just hanging out with Pratt the night of the killing and wasn't 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.''

AP NEWS
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The Associated Press
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