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Prosecutor's Office makes first argument against people charged in downtown riot

Posted at 5:19 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 17:19:41-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — 5 people were scheduled to appear in court Monday on charges related to the riots in downtown Grand Rapids in May. Now those suspects are headed to trial.

After an entire day of hearings, the judge bound over all 5 people who had preliminary hearings today.

We heard the cases for why the prosecutor's office says Olivia Hull, Matthew Hurth, John Dupree, Ronald Raymond, and Omar Suarez-Landero all are charged with rioting in the events that happened in downtown Grand Rapids from May 30-May 31.

There was much debate over whether or not the riot charges would stand. According to defense attorneys, the suspects would have to be acting "in concert" based on current statute...but argued these suspects did not know each other and therefore could not act "in concert"

The judge ultimately disagreed.

“While folks may have been four blocks apart from one another…it is all part and parcel to the same general violent conduct with an intent to create a serious risk of causing public terror or alarm. So my conclusion will be, unless there are special facts and circumstances, is that it is rioting, and rioting is, there is probable cause that a defendant was rioting and they were downtown and conducted themself violently,” Judge Nicholas Ayoub said.

Only 1 of the 5 appeared via zoom, Olivia Hull. Dupree and Hurth both waived their rights to appear but did listen in on the ruling and had their attorneys there representing them.

Raymond did not call in, and Judge Nicholas Ayoub issued a bench warrant for him.

During the joint preliminary exam, the Prosecutor's Office presented some of the first evidence against the suspects.

A high school friend identified Dupree by photographs taken during the riot. A woman who knew Hurth through a friend says she saw him in the same outfit as a person who threw a stop sign through the windshield of a Wyoming Public Safety cruiser and that Hurth told her he was going downtown to cause damage.

Hull was identified by detectives, thanks to surveillance video from Sundance Grille as well as images taken by a freelance photographer who was documenting the night's events.

Suarez-Landero was identified as the man seen pouring milk over the floor at Sundance by their surveillance video.

Again, all cases were bound over to circuit court.