The murder trial for Demarius Reed is wrapping up/has wrapped up. This article from mLive, “Demarius Reed’s killer: ‘He fell to the ground and I shot him,'” sums up what’s happened I think. As I understand it, the person who actually pulled the trigger in killing Reed, Kristopher Pratt, took a plea bargain where he could be out of prison in 18 years instead of life. In exchange, he agreed to testify against Ed Thomas, the other guy charged with the murder. One thing I don’t quite get is it seems possible that the guy who did the actual shooting might end up serving less time in jail than the accomplice.
Also in disturbing news about the trial and testimony is this from the Ypsilanti Courier, “Gunman testifies during second day of Demarius Reed murder trial.” In my view, this is a case where the reporter really buried the lead. This article also recounts the testimony from Pratt, but then it has this near the end:
Detective Joe Yuhas, of the Ypsilanti Police Department, also took the stand during Thursday’s court session. Yuhas was the officer in charge of Reed’s homicide investigation last year.
During Brown’s cross-examination, Yuhas admitted telling Thomas during a previous conversation that the investigation was under a lot of pressure due to an unusual amount of media attention. Yuhas confirmed under oath that the Ypsilanti Police had been contacted by out-of-state news outlets including the Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, TMZ and MTV.
“I did say, regrettably, that if it was just a nobody EMU student, we wouldn’t have put this many resources into the investigation,” Yuhas said Thursday.
A nobody EMU student. Yikes.
You know, the Ypsi Proud faithful took great offense for EMU BOR member Francine Parker’s comment last year about building a moat around campus to protect it from Ypsilanti. But with bullshitty admissions like Yuhas’, that “nobody” EMU students don’t get the same level of police protection and interest from the city, maybe Parker was right.
Speaking of which: there is also this in mLive, “Julia Niswender’s mother frustrated with lack of progress in homicide case.” A quote from that piece:
A year before Reed was killed, 23-year-old Julia Niswender was found dead in the bathtub at her apartment in Peninsular Place, the complex adjacent to Reed’s along LeForge Road in Ypsilanti.
Despite almost two years having passed, no one has been arrested and police say they’ve exhausted nearly all their leads.
[Nieswender’s mother Kimberly] Turnquist said she is very frustrated that the case is still hanging out there and believes police could be doing more.
“There is absolutely no new update,” she said Friday. “I’m frustrated with the lack of time that is put into Julia’s case.”
One the one hand, the circumstances surrounding Nieswender’s homicide seem a lot more complicated than the Reed murder. On the other hand, Detective Yuhas’ comment doesn’t exactly seem at odds with with Turnquist’s argument.