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After judge's ruling, former GRPD officer Christopher Schurr's team vows to appeal

Matthew Borgula (above) is the lead attorney for Christopher Schurr's legal team
Daniel Boothe
Matthew Borgula (above) is the lead attorney for Christopher Schurr's legal team

Decision could delay start of criminal trial for months.

After a judge refused to toss out a 2nd Degree Murder charge on Friday, the legal team of former Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr says, they plan to appeal; a decision that could set the criminal trial back months.

The defense had argued that Schurr was justified in the shooting death of Congolese Immigrant Patrick Lyoya during a traffic stop last April based on an 1846 Michigan state law that authorizes police to use deadly force when a felon is attempting to escape, and therefore, the 2nd Degree Murder charge should be dropped.

On Friday, Kent County Circuit Court Judge Christina Elmore said that was for a jury to decide and ruled that the criminal trial would proceed.

After the ruling, Schurr’s lead counsel, Matthew Borgula, said his team would be filing with the Michigan Court of Appeals.

“I don’t know how anyone can watch that video and think that (Lyoya wasn’t trying to escape or trying to get away.”

The appeal, however, will most likely delay the start of the criminal trial, which is scheduled to begin in March for several months.

Meanwhile, Patrick Lyoya’s family has stated that they are growing increasingly frustrated with the Kent County Prosecutors Office over how long the process is taking.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker:

“We are in communication with them, we told them that this was going to happen today, and we will try to keep them up to date the best we can.”

If the defense loses its appeal, the legal team could then make another appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court, which then would delay the start of the trial even further.

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