Ex-Michigan cop ordered to stand trial in murder of Patrick Lyoya

DETROIT — Former Grand Rapids Police Department Officer Christopher Schurr is set to stand trial on second-degree murder in the killing of 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya after a judge decided Friday to rejected the request by the officer's attorneys to dismiss the case. Schurr's legal team had sought to dismiss the case following a ruling late last year by Grand Rapids district court Judge Nicholas Ayoub, who found the prosecutors had sufficient evidence to proceed with the case and bound the murder charge over for trial. Kent County Circuit Court Judge Christina Elmore agreed with Ayoub on Friday....

Bodies of missing 2 rappers, friend found under debris in vacant Michigan apartment building

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. — The bodies of three missing men — two rappers from Oscoda and Melvindale who'd visited Detroit for a gig along with a friend from Detroit — were found under a pile of debris in the basement of a vacant Highland Park apartment building, according to three police sources familiar with the investigation. Police had been looking for rappers Armani Kelly and Dante Wicker and friend Montoya Givens for nearly two weeks, after the three were reported missing Jan. 21. Investigators discovered the men's bodies Thursday inside the Northcourse Apartments building on the Highland Par...

Feds investigate ex-Michigan House Speaker Rick Johnson for alleged bribery in pot licensing

LANSING, Mich. — FBI agents and a federal grand jury have spent more than two years investigating whether former Michigan House Speaker Rick Johnson and others received bribes in return for awarding state licenses to operate medical marijuana facilities, The Detroit News has learned. The probe has the potential to raise new questions about financial influences over Lansing, the state's ethics policies while the GOP controlled the Legislature and how Michigan's burgeoning marijuana industry was shaped. Three sources familiar with the probe described a prolonged, ongoing investigation involving ...

Van Gogh battle turns bitter as Detroit museum scoffs at Brazilian 'owner's' claim

DETROIT — Lawyers for the Detroit Institute of Arts on Monday scoffed at allegations that a Vincent van Gogh painting was missing for six years until being found hanging on the wall of the museum, using an exclamation point in a federal court of appeals filing to counter the purported owner's claim. DIA lawyers Monday disparaged claims that the painting was lost and stolen, arguing the legal fight over the fate of the 1888 oil painting "Liseuse De Romans," also known as "The Novel Reader" or "The Reading Lady," should be dismissed and any future legal battles should happen in Brazil. That is t...

Democratic lawmaker shows up to vote at Michigan Capitol a day after positive COVID test

LANSING, Mich. — A Michigan state representative came to the Capitol on Thursday to cast votes, despite testing positive test for COVID-19 the day before. Rep. Natalie Price, a Berkley Democrat, cast her vote from the gallery as the Michigan House held late night votes to pass an increase to the Earned Income Tax Credit, a repeal of some taxes on retirement income and a $946 million supplemental budget, the first-term lawmaker disclosed Monday. Price acknowledged her positive coronavirus test in a Facebook post Monday evening after Bridge Michigan reported on her attendance. The Lansing newsle...

ISIS soldier from Dearborn guilty in federal court terror trial

DETROIT — An Islamic State soldier from Dearborn captured on a Syrian battlefield five years ago faces at least 10 years in federal prison after a jury Monday convicted him of providing material support to a terrorist group. Jurors spent about four hours deliberating before convicting Ibraheem Musaibli, 32, of all three charges against him. That includes two terrorism-related charges, which include conspiring to provide material support, and a third charge of receiving military-type training from ISIS. The two terrorism-related charges could send Musaibli to prison for 50 years while the train...

Appeals court orders Detroit museum officials to hold onto Van Gogh painting amid legal fight

DETROIT — Federal appeals court judges Wednesday ordered Detroit Institute of Arts officials to hold onto a long-missing multimillion-dollar painting by Vincent van Gogh while a legal battle continues over its fate and rightful owner. The order was filed less than a week after U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh dismissed a lawsuit filed by the purported owner, Brazilian collector Gustavo Soter's art brokerage company, Brokerarte Capital Partners LLC. The company sued the DIA to recover "Liseuse De Romans," also known as "The Novel Reader" or "The Reading Lady," claiming that the painting h...

Acclaimed University of Michigan researcher leaves after academic articles retracted

DETROIT — A University of Michigan gastroenterology researcher is no longer employed by the university following the retraction of five academic papers in scholarly journals due to what one academic journal called the "falsification" and "fabrication" of data involving millions of federal research dollars. Chung Owyang — formerly chief of UM's Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, according to the Mayo Clinic, and a medical researcher — left the university as of Jan. 2, UM spokeswoman Kim Broekhuizen said Tuesday. He is listed as a retiree in online UM records. It was unclear how the pu...

Detroit art museum's fight will 'Gogh' on in federal appeals court, lawyer says

DETROIT — The purported owner of a Vincent van Gogh painting that was missing for six years until being found hanging on a wall at the Detroit Institute of Arts will appeal the dismissal of a lawsuit that sought to reclaim the rare artwork. Aaron Phelps, a lawyer for Brazilian art collector Gustavo Soter and his art brokerage company, Brokerarte Capital Partners LLC, filed a notice of appeal Monday in federal court. The appeal is expected to be filed later with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The filing came three days after U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh dismissed...

Donald Trump endorses Matt DePerno in crowded race to lead Michigan GOP

LANSING, Mich. — Former President Donald Trump endorsed Matt DePerno on Friday night to become the next chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, a move that could boost the former attorney general candidate's support among GOP delegates in next month's state convention. DePerno, a lawyer from Kalamazoo, has been locked in a competitive and crowded race to lead the state GOP with 10 other hopefuls. He and Kristina Karamo, the Republican nominee for secretary of state last fall, have been widely viewed as the two top competitors for the seat. "Republicans in Michigan must unite and work togeth...

Judge sides with Detroit Institute of Arts; Van Gogh painting can't be seized

DETROIT — A Detroit federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit to seize an allegedly stolen painting by Vincent van Gogh from the Detroit Institute of Arts and give the artwork to its purported owner in Brazil. U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh ruled that the DIA did not have to hand over "Liseuse De Romans," also known as "The Novel Reader" or "The Reading Lady," which it is temporarily displaying in an exhibition that ends Sunday. The judge ruled that the artwork is protected by a federal law granting immunity to foreign artwork on display in the United States. "The Painting is immune ...

Judge delays deciding whether to seize Van Gogh painting on loan at Detroit museum

DETROIT — A federal judge Thursday delayed deciding whether to seize an allegedly stolen painting by Vincent van Gogh from the Detroit Institute of Arts and giving the artwork to its purported owner in Brazil, a move that buys time for both sides to negotiate a possible settlement. U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh held a nearly hourlong hearing in court over the short-term fate of "Liseuse De Romans," also known as "The Novel Reader" or "The Reading Lady.” The purported owner, Brazilian art collector Gustavo Soter, and his art brokerage company, Brokerarte Capital Partners LLC, said the ...

Justices weigh in on case of deaf Michigan student denied interpreter

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a case over whether a deaf student deprived of a qualified sign-language interpreter for 12 years may sue his Michigan school district for damages. Several justices seemed sympathetic to the arguments by the attorney for Michigan's Miguel Luna Perez that he shouldn't have to complete the administrative process under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act when such "exhaustion" would be futile — that is, when the money damages for disability discrimination he seeks aren't available under that statute. Justice Elen...

Oxford shooting survivors demand action on gun legislation in next 100 days

OXFORD, Mich. — Madeline Johnson is tired of "thoughts and prayers" and wants to see action when it comes to gun control in Michigan. At a Wednesday news conference and prayer vigil in Oxford as part of seven events held by leaders in the End Gun Violence Michigan coalition across the state, the Oxford High School student recounted the events of Nov. 30, 2021, when her best friend Madisyn Baldwin was fatally shot by a fellow student who used a gun that was purchased by his father in the slaying. Three other students were killed in the shooting: Hana St. Juliana, Tate Myre and Justin Shilling. ...

DIA 'misguided' in fight over stolen van Gogh painting, lawyer says

DETROIT — A judge can order Detroit Institute of Arts officials to hand over an allegedly stolen painting by Vincent van Gogh despite a federal law granting the artwork immunity from being seized, a lawyer wrote Wednesday. That is because Brazilian art collector Gustavo Soter, who says he is the undisputed owner of "Liseuse De Romans," is demanding its return after searching for the painting for six years, his lawyer, Aaron Phelps, wrote in a court filing Wednesday. "Our view is someone who stole a work of art can make no agreement for its exhibition under the statute," Phelps wrote in an emai...