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Date and time set for Christopher Schurr's prelim exam

Most felony cases have a prelim exam, where evidence is presented to a judge and they decide if there's enough probable cause to send the case to trial.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The attorneys for Christopher Schurr were back in court Friday, Sept. 23. They went before a judge alongside Kent County prosecutor Chris Becker as they set a date and time for the next step in the state's case against Schurr. 

Former Grand Rapids police officer Christopher Schurr is charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya in April.

On Friday, Schurr's team of lawyers and Chris Becker convened for a status conference. The meeting was short, but what came of it was a finalized date for Schurr's preliminary examination on Oct. 27. 

Most felony cases have a prelim. exam, where evidence is presented to a judge and they decide if there is enough probable cause to send the case to trial.

"It's in order to flush it out to make sure that if somebody is charged with something that they have enough evidence to prove they committed that crime," said Criminal Law Attorney Sarissa Montague, with Levine & Levine. "Preliminary examinations are a very important right for a defendant, and it's an important right to protect."

Christopher Schurr was not present in court Friday, and some in the courtroom confronted Chris Becker as to why.

"Why doesn't Schurr have to appear to his court dates like everyone else?" said a young woman in the gallery. Becker responded saying that that decision is up to the judge.

"Typically, defendants are required to appear at court whenever their attorney has to appear in court," Montague further explained. "But sometimes if it's a brief meeting, and if there's nothing substantive that is going to take place, with a judge's permission, then the defendant does not need to appear at court. And that's not so unusual, either."

The preliminary examination for Christopher Schurr is scheduled for Oct. 27 at 8:30 a.m. in the 61st District Court. It will also be streamed live on YouTube. 

Judge Nicholas Ayoub of the 61st District Court said that their courtroom management and scheduling order is still in effect and said that anyone who plans to attend in-person on the 27th needs to review those requirements. 

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