Tue. May 28th, 2024

A former Michigan police officer who shot a Black motorist in the back of the head will stand trial for second-degree murder, a judge said Monday. Judge Nicholas Ayoub announced his decision after hearing testimony last week about the death in April of 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

RELATED: Michigan Cop Charged With Murder In Patrick Lyoya’s Death Is Fired

A jury will decide whether Christopher Schurr’s use of deadly force was necessary “after a full and fair trial,” Ayoub said.

Lyoya briefly ran from a traffic stop then grappled with Schurr across a front lawn before the officer shot him at point-blank range. The final moment was recorded on video by a man who was a passenger in the car with Lyoya.

RELATED: Michigan Officer Who Killed Black Driver Is Charged With Second Degree Murder

In Schurr’s preliminary hearing, prosecutors called five witnesses, including Lyoya’s friend, Aime Tuyishme, the passenger who took video of the encounter. Schurr, who is White, was on top of Lyoya and “yelled drop the taser” before he pulled his gun and shot Lyoya once in the back of the head, the cellphone footage showed. Lyoya, a refugee from Congo, was on the ground when he was killed.

“I knew something was wrong,” Tuyishme testified.

Ayoub only had to find probable cause to send the case to the Kent County trial court, a low standard of evidence at this stage under Michigan law.

Schurr’s attorney argued Friday that the officer was defending himself while Lyoya wouldn’t give up. A forensic video analyst, Robert McFarlane, testified that Lyoya failed to comply with 20 commands.

“He pushed. He shoved, popped his arms,” lawyer Matt Borgula said.

Schurr, an officer for seven years, was fired in June after being charged with murder.

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born | buffygunner@illicitdeeds.com

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