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Riot suspects attend preliminary hearing

Image taken during the Grand Rapids riot of May 2020.
Posted at 3:55 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 17:30:59-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Multiple suspects charged in connection with the riots in downtown Grand Rapids back in May were in court today for a preliminary hearing.

The prosecutor’s office provided evidence against five individuals identified in the May 30-31 riots.

Those charged include Olivia Hull, Matthew Hurth, John Durpree, Ronald Raymond and Omar Suarez-Landero.

“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," Judge Nicholas Ayoub said. "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,”

Hull has been identified by Grand Rapids police as the woman destroying Sundance Bar & Grill. She appeared in court today and via Zoom and was identified by police in court.

Hurth can be seen destroying a Wyoming police car, according to prosecutors. A witness identified him and his clothing and said he said something to the effect of, “He intended to go downtown to expletive things up.”

Dupree was identified by a high school classmate and witness.

Hurth and Dupree elected to waive their rights via Zoom, saying they have not been publicly identified.

Suarez was identified by his parole officer.

Ronald Raymond is homeless, according to his attorney. He failed to appear Monday and a bench warrant was issued in his case.

Much of the debate Monday was over whether these suspects can even be charged with a riot charge.

Defense attorneys say the law states suspects must work “in concert” to meet the riot charge, and because these suspects did not know each other, it doesn’t fit the charge.

That will ultimately be up to the judge to decide.