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Patrick Lyoya family vents frustration over delays in Chirstopher Schurr trial

Peter Lyoya holds up a picture of his son Patrick Lyoya, 26, in his home in Lansing, Mich., on April 14. Patrick was facedown on the ground when he was fatally shot in the head by a Grand Rapids police officer this month.
Anna Nichols
/
AP
Peter Lyoya holds up a picture of his son Patrick Lyoya, 26, in his home in Lansing, Mich., on April 14. Patrick was facedown on the ground when he was fatally shot in the head by a Grand Rapids police officer this month.

Probable cause hearing, once scheduled July 18th, currently sits in limbo

The family of Patrick Lyoya joined demonstrators Saturday on the steps of the Kent County Courthouse to express their anger over delays in the Christopher Schurr criminal case.

Former Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr is charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of Congolese Immigrant Patrick Lyoya during a traffic stop on April 4th.

After Schurr posted a $100,000 bond back in June, a probable cause hearing had initially been set for July 18, then delayed until August 30th. Last week, Grand Rapids District Court Judge Nicholas Ayoub granted a request from Schurr’s defense team to delay the hearing for at least another month.

Meanwhile, Patrick Lyoya’s father, Peter, speaking through an interpreter Saturday, said the family is growing increasingly frustrated that their son is “dead and buried, and the man responsible for his death is sitting at home.”

“The Lyoya family really want to see justice be done, said interpreter Israel Siku. “And they really want to see Officer Schurr in prison.”

The defense told Judge Ayoub on August 19th that the team needed more time to thoroughly review the Grand Rapids Police Department’s policies and procedures, specifically around taser training and excessive force training.

Citing sympathy for the Lyoya family, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker told the judge he reluctantly would not fight the request, noting that he did not want to give the defense team a reason to call for a mistrial down the road.

The Judge gave the defense team until September 23rd and said a probable cause hearing date would be re-set then.

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