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Judge delays hearing for former GRPD officer charged with murder for second time

The hearing has been adjourned without a date at this time.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Kent County judge has delayed the preliminary examination for former Grand Rapids Police officer Christopher Schurr for a second time.

The team defending Schurr requested the examination scheduled for Aug. 30 be postponed on Thursday.

The judge ruled that the hearing will be adjourned without a date at this time. Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker will meet with Schurr's defense team on Sept. 23 to discuss if they are prepared for the hearing moving forward.

"If you look at county records, you'll see countless cases where the prosecution is waiting for lab results," said Matt Borgula, an attorney representing Schurr. "You could wait months sometimes before you have a preliminary exam - six months, seven months - especially in a murder case. So this is this is not extraordinary... It's called due process. And that's what we're doing."

Schurr, 31, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya.

His attorneys asked for the delay because two of the witnesses for the defense are not available to appear in court on Aug. 30. In addition, attorneys said they are waiting on more discovery requests to be fulfilled from the Kent County prosecutor, some of which may be subject to a protective order at the City of Grand Rapids’ request.

This hearing has already been pushed once, after Schurr's defense cited a large amount of information-gathering was still needed. The Kent County Prosecutor's Office did not object to that request, so the hearing was moved to Aug. 30. 

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker says he opposes giving the defense any more time. 

RELATED: Next hearing for former GRPD officer charged with murder pushed back to end August

The shooting happened on Monday, April 4 just after 8 a.m. near the intersection of Griggs Street and Nelson Avenue SE in Grand Rapids. Schurr had pulled Lyoya over, who was driving with a friend in the passenger seat.

Lyoya got out of his vehicle to speak with Schurr. After a brief physical struggle, Lyoya was shot in the back of the head and killed.

The passenger filmed the altercation.

Schurr bonded out of custody, and his legal team previously shared this statement regarding their client:

"We were disappointed to learn that Officer Schurr has been charged with murder by the Kent County Prosecutor. Officer Schurr is a decorated member of law enforcement who has dedicated his career to helping others and protecting the citizens of Grand Rapids. The evidence in this case will show that the death of Patrick Lyoya was not murder but an unfortunate tragedy, resulting from a highly volatile situation. Mr. Lyoya continually refused to obey lawful commands and ultimately disarmed a police officer. Mr. Lyoya gained full control of a police officer’s weapon while resisting arrest, placing Officer Schurr in fear of great bodily harm or death. We are confident that after a jury hears all of the evidence, Officer Schurr will be exonerated."

Following the shooting, Schurr had been placed on paid leave and stripped of his police powers pending the conclusion of the investigation.

After the Kent County Prosecutor announced he had charged the officer, GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom said he would ask the City Manager to immediately suspend Schurr without pay pending termination.

He was fired effective June 10.

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