GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The former Grand Rapids police officer charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya will head to trial.
Christopher Schurr will stand trial for the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya, Judge Nicholas Ayoub announced Monday morning.
WATCH Judge Ayoub read his full opinion:
Schurr is accused of shooting and killing Patrick Lyoya during a traffic stop in April. A months-long investigation resulted in a second-degree murder charge against Schurr.
An internal investigation at Grand Rapids Police Department ended with Schurr being fired.
The preliminary examination for Schurr started Thursday, October 27. A small group of protesters has been present through the two-day hearing, supporting both the defense and prosecution.
The preliminary exam is meant to show that there is enough probable cause to go to trial. Monday morning, Judge Ayoub announced there was enough probable cause to bound the case over to Circuit Court.
A jury will now be tasked with determining if Schurr's use of force was justified in the fatal shooting of Lyoya.
Attorneys Ven Johnson and Ben Crump, who co-represent the Lyoya family in a civil lawsuit, released a statement after the judge announced his decision, saying, “The case will now rightfully move to trial, which is the next step in our pursuit for obtaining full and complete justice for the murder of Patrick Lyoya. Our legal team will continue to fight to ensure former Grand Rapids police officer Christopher Schurr and the City of Grand Rapids are held accountable for his actions.”
FOX 17 spoke with Matthew Borgula, Schurr's defense attorney, after the decision was read.
"We're disappointed it got bound over but we're not entirely surprised," says Borgula. "[Schurr] was prepared, given the circumstances, that it could be by bound over, so he's disappointed but at the same time, he trusts his counsel to represent them going forward."
The Greater Grand Rapids NAACP branch also gave a statement following Judge Ayoub's ruling, saying the case going forward is about making sure Lyoya's family receives closure and support.
"[Lyoya] should have had — just like Officer Schurr ... will have — his day in court. Patrick should have been allowed and afforded that same opportunity without being executed, which the entire world witnessed," says President Cle Jackson. "We got to do better. We have to do better."
The Grand Rapids Police Officers Association posted the following message on Facebook later that day:
"The GRPOA will continue to support you and stand with you. You are family! We are here for your every need.
"Today’s decision by Judge Ayoub is only prolonging the inevitable. You have committed no crime and you will be acquitted. Keep your head up! Know you have many that support you in the community and throughout the nation.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths."
Read the full opinion:
Bindover Opinion.sgn by WXMI on Scribd