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Attorneys for former Grand Rapids Officer charged with murder file for case to be dismissed

Attorneys say former GRPD Officer Christopher Schurr was justified in killing Patrick Lyoya, and ask for the 2nd-degree murder charge to be dismissed.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Attorneys representing former Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr argue in new court filings that Michigan law permitted him to use deadly force against fleeing Patrick Lyoya.

They're asking a district court judge to dismiss the 2nd-degree murder charge filed against Schurr, who is captured on cellphone video shooting Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head following a traffic stop.

Schurr's attorneys already tried to convince Judge Nicholas Ayoub to dismiss the case, but the judge instead bound over the case to Circuit Court to face a jury.

"The district court erred in its legal findings related to the raised defenses, and the government’s evidence presented at the preliminary examination failed to provide disputed facts that would leave any question open for a jury to decide or support a finding that Officer Schurr committed a crime," Attorney's Matthew Borgula and Mark Dodge wrote in the filing.

This appeal is something Kent County Prosecutor Chis Becker expected.   

RELATED: Kent Co. Prosecutor expecting appeal from ex-GRPD officer’s defense

He believes there is enough evidence for the murder charge as opposed to the lesser count of manslaughter.

You can read the motion Schurr's attorneys filed here: 

Depending on how this appeal is handled, the trial date is set to begin on March 13, 2023. 

Judge Christina Elmore is expected to preside over the trial. 

Attorneys for Patrick Lyoya's family filed a separate civil lawsuit late last year against the former officer and the City of Grand Rapids.

The lawsuit seeks two counts of excessive force against ex-GRPD Officer Christopher Schurr in Patrick Lyoya's killing, and claims the City of Grand Rapids is liable for the "atmosphere at GRPD, which influence Schurr to use excessive force on Lyoya."

The family is seeking damages, a jury to decide any punitive damages, attorney's fees, and to award Patrick Lyoya's estate medical, hospital, funeral and burial expenses.

READ MORE: Attorneys for Lyoya family claim excessive force & gross negligence in civil lawsuit against ex-officer, City of Grand Rapids

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