GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Patrick Lyoya death investigation is gaining even more national attention now that the officer involved faces a second-degree murder charge.
Christopher Schurr made his first court appearance Friday afternoon before posting bond and leaving jail within a matter of hours.
Schurr’s attorneys say they will not take a deal and they plan to take the case to trial.
FOX 17 talked with Sarissa Montague, a criminal defense lawyer based out of Kalamazoo. Like many, she has watched this case unfold from the moment Schurr shot and killed Lyoya.
“It’s a tough process and it’s complicated and it’s going to go on for some time because that’s how the process works,” said Montague.
She says the case is unique because the potential jury pool was and is going to be exposed.
“I’m sure both the defense and the prosecutor will go into the case anticipating that it will be difficult to pick a jury based on the media attention that this case has received, but until the time comes… no one’s going to know if it’s going to be hard or if it’s going to be easier than anticipated,” Montague added.
Throughout her career, Montague has worked a criminal case where she was defending a police officer. She says picking a jury in this case could be tough because it’s the community Schurr works in.
“The emotional component of the case, the reaction by the community to the case, negative. You know, obviously the negative emotions that people are feeling because of this situation, that is going to be something that the defense and the prosecutor also take into consideration,” she added. “Overall, there are constitutional rights in place and they have to be adhered to. Allow the process to work through.”
Schurr is expected back in court June 21 for a probable cause hearing.