Michigan's Court of Appeals agrees to consider request by former Grand Rapids police officer Christopher Schurr's legal team to dismiss case
Schurr is charged with 2nd-degree murder in the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya. The defense argues deadly force was justified.
The Michigan Court of Appeals has agreed to consider the case of former Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr, who has been charged with 2nd-degree murder for shooting Congolese immigrant Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head during a traffic stop in 2022.
Earlier this year in February, Kent County Circuit Court Judge Christina Elmore then rejected a motion to dismiss filed by his legal team, who argued Schurr had been justified in using deadly force.
Schurr's lead attorney, Matthew Borgula, cited an 1846 Michigan law that authorizes police to shoot a felon that is attempting to flee, pointing out that Lyoya had been convicted of multiple felonies at the time of his death, was resisting arrest, and fighting Schurr over control of the officer’s taser, which is considered by officials to be a deadly weapon.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker argued that "this is 2023, and not 1846," and Judge Elmore agreed; ruling that Schurr’s innocence--or guilt--should be left up to a jury to decide.
Schurr’s defense then filed an appeal to that decision, and now the Michigan Court of Appeals will consider the argument, which could delay the start of the trial currently set for October 24th.
Meanwhile, it’s been over a year since the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya, which occurred in April of 2022. His family, through their legal representation, have been vocally frustrated at the Kent County Prosecutor’s office for the seemingly endless delays since Schurr first had been charged; noting that their loved one is dead while Schurr is currently a free man after posting bond shortly after his arrest.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker has stated that his heart goes out to the Lyoya family, however, the legal process takes time.