LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Court of Appeals heard arguments today on whether former officer Christopher Schurr was justified when he shot 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head during a routine traffic stop last year.
The attorneys for Schurr say that the former officer was within his rights to shoot Lyoya after he ran away because of a rule that came up during his training that allows officers to kill a fleeing felon.
“This situation would’ve put any officer in fear of himself and of others,” said Matthew Borgula, lead defense attorney. “It was a suspected felony stop… Mr. Lyoya instead fled and in the process, he struck the officer”
On the other side, prosecutors argue that the law requires “reasonable use of force” above all else, and they think they have the evidence to prove that wasn’t the case in this incident.
We’ve done that by setting forth evidence,” said Katie Wendt, the Chief Appellate Attorney for the Kent County Prosecutors Office. “The video evidence, the eye witness testimony taser’s capabilities, the medical examination of the bullet going back to front”
Schurr’s trial was initially set for March, then was pushed to October. But it cannot move forward until the court of appeals makes a decision, which could take weeks.