GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The defense team for the former Grand Rapids police officer charged with murder for shooting Patrick Lyoya has requested the preliminary hearing be adjourned while it works to get more information from the police department.
According to court records, a hearing has been set for Friday morning regarding a motion requested by Christopher Schurr’s defense team to adjourn the Aug. 30 preliminary hearing.
A motion dated Wednesday seeks to subpoena the Grand Rapids Police Department for Schurr’s training records and departmental training materials, policies and procedures from between June 2015 and April 2022.
“In the instant (murder) case, a key issue will be whether Officer Schurr was justified in using lethal force after Patrick Lyoya actively resisted and assaulted him based on his training and experience as a police officer,” the motion from Schurr’s attorneys reads in part. “Officer Schurr maintains his innocence and believes he acted within GRPD policies and procedures. As such, Officer Schurr’s training files and GRPD’s training, policies, and procedures may include relevant admissible evidence.”
The proposed subpoena also seeks GPS data showing where other responding officers were the morning of the shooting, noting Schurr was the only officer present when it happened. It also asks for all police reports, records and complaints regarding Lyoya.
The shooting happened April 4. Schurr pulled over Lyoya, 26, because the car he was driving was carrying plates that didn’t match. Video released by GRPD shows that Lyoya ran away and there was a struggle that included Lyoya grabbing the officer’s Taser. Schurr, who was on top of Lyoya trying to hold him down, shot Lyoya in the back of the head.
Schurr was charged with second-degree murder on June 10.
Last month, the preliminary exam was moved from July 18 to Aug. 30 after Schurr’s defense team requested an adjournment “due to a large amount of discovery” in the case. There was no objection to the request from the prosecutor’s office.
The attorneys for Lyoya’s family have argued that Schurr repeatedly failed to deescalate the interaction with Lyoya. The second-degree murder charge means the prosecutor decided the shooting could not be justified by self-defense.
If convicted of murder, Schurr, 31, of Grandville, faces a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole.
He has been fired from GRPD.