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Posted on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 : 7:25 p.m.

Former EMU football player sentenced to anger management, 2 years probation

By John Counts


Former Eastern Michigan wide receiver Kinsman Thomas is pictured on right during a 2011 game.

Melanie Maxwell |

A former standout wide receiver for the Eastern Michigan University football team was sentenced Wednesday in the Washtenaw County Trial Court to serve two years probation and was ordered to take an anger management class.

Kinsman Thomas, 22, was sentenced on assault charges stemming from a 2011 attack on an EMU student.

After hearing from the prosecution and defense, Judge Archie Brown decided on the prosecution's request of the two-year sentence.

Thomas' court-appointed attorney, Steven Tramontin, had argued for one year of probation.

"He certainly made a big mistake," Tramontin said about Thomas. "He allowed his anger to take over."

While dealing with the police, however, Thomas "conducted himself with honesty and integrity," Tramontin said.

Assistant Washtenaw County Prosecutor Dianna Collins "somewhat begrudgingly" requested Brown follow guidelines and sentence Thomas to two years of probation.

"His actions were without reason," she said.

Collins also asked that Thomas be required to take anger management classes, something Brown did order. Earlier this month, Thomas' former teammate, Eric Jones, 23, was sentenced to one year of probation. In September, the two men both pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Thomas and Jones were both originally charged with unarmed robbery and assault with intent to rob while armed. Those charges were dismissed.

A third man, Jalyn Massenberg, 20, also pleaded guilty in connection with a Dec. 14 robbery near the Pease Auditorium. Police said an EMU student was walking alone at 4:40 a.m. Dec. 14, 2011 near the south side of the auditorium when he was struck from behind. A bag containing a laptop was stolen.

Thomas led Eastern in receiving yards (473) and touchdown receptions (4) as a sophomore in 2010, previously reported. He was suspended for the Eagles’ first two games of the 2011 season because of what head coach Ron English at the time called “violation of team rules.” Thomas saw action in six of the team's 12 games last season including the season finale.

Jones was listed as a redshirt freshman on the official EMU football team roster for the 2010 season, but did not record any statistics. Neither man remains on the team.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.

Way too light of a sentence. Sports heroes getting away with mugging, robbing, and assdaulting someone and getting a slap on the wrist is just wrong. These guys should be doing about three years hard time if I was a judge. You just don't go around hitting people from behind and robbing them I don't care how well you excel at sports.


Thu, Nov 29, 2012 : 4:57 p.m.

Steven Tramontin, the court appointed attorney, was an awesome soccer player at Ann Arbor's Pioneer High School back in the day...


Thu, Nov 29, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

Interesting. So he helped attack and rob another student and he got probation? Premeditated assault and robbery is definitely a crime. It definitely pays to be a money maker for your University. Did anyone here read the article about the Pioneer student charged with felonies for fighting during that brawl on the football field? You know, the one in which the adult who started a brawl involving so many people got charged with nothing, while a kid on crutches picked up some felony charges? It will be interesting to see how that non-crime (in my opinion) will be treated during trial and sentencing. My bet is if the Pioneer student somehow finds a way to make money for people around here (like Kinsman Thomas does for EMU) he will find most of his charges dropped. On the other hand, if he doesn't make anyone any money... well, it sounds like another black kid is going to become a felon. Anyone want to place any bets?


Thu, Nov 29, 2012 : 9:39 a.m.

RE: "Kinsman, 22..." -- evidently Mr. Kinsman was originally reported to be a non-student since the ONE assailant involved who WAS reported to be an EMU student was reported to be 23 yrs. old, not 22 -- or is that because he WAS 22 and had a birthday? Or is his associate, Mr. Jones the 23 year-old referred to? [Tip: when that happens, the name of the subject is followed by the STANDARD CORRECTIVE SENTENCE: "...who is NOW aged 23." Sheesh, a little attention to "details" like Standard English, please. Okay, so according to the earlier article, Mr. Kinsman was part of a gang of three guys who attacked an EMU student from behind and took his laptop computer. Nice going - ZERO character (and lots of cowardice). And he gets only 2 years probation?? The charge of aggravated assault is mentioned here: so they think that's a "misdemeanor" punishable by up to one year in jail? Just saying: I know of similar attacks which permanently crippled the victim. Depending on the specific medical condition of the victim, this kind of attack might be fatal. But I suppose "aggravated murder" is only a misdemeanor too. (sarcasm) Whatever: I hope that during Mr. Thomas's next adventure into "misdemeanor mayhem" he runs into a victim who's prepared and capable of defending himself.