Man accused of killing trooper wasn't wanted

A 19-year-old man charged with murder in the shooting of a state trooper in northern Michigan wasn't wanted by authorities, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
AP Wire
Sep 12, 2013

Trooper Paul Butterfield was shot in the head during a traffic stop Monday in Mason County's Sherman Township, about 80 miles north of Grand Rapids.

Eric Knysz of Luther was charged Wednesday with murder of an officer as well as three other crimes. His wife, Sarah Knysz, 20, faces two charges related to driving away from the scene with him.

"It appears to be simply a routine traffic stop ... one that we see on the road all the time," prosecutor Paul Spaniola told reporters.

Spaniola said Eric Knysz was not wanted by authorities when Butterfield stopped the pickup truck.

"A lot of times homicides have no good reason," Spaniola said.

Sarah Knysz, who appeared in court by video camera from the county jail, won't be released unless she posts $250,000. There was no indication that either had attorneys yet.

"The circumstances arising from this matter merit a much more serious bond," Magistrate Patricia Baker said, explaining the high figure.

Eric Knysz was injured while exchanging gunfire with police as officers closed in on the couple some 15 miles from where Butterfield was shot. He's in a Traverse City hospital but was expected to appear in court Thursday. He has a criminal record that includes home invasion, a felony, in Lake County, records show.

"Good paying job trimming trees, wife that is pregnant, just moved into their own place," Knysz family friend Demo Moore told TV station WZZM. "Things were looking up. Then this happens."

Spaniola said Butterfield regularly handled cases in Mason County, especially following up with sex offenders to ensure they were complying with their many restrictions.

"He had a very soft spot for animals. He was a hard worker. He did everything by the book," the prosecutor said.

Butterfield's funeral will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. at Manistee High School. He was a trooper for 14 years.




Where is everyone? We scream and yell about a doctor cutting down some apple trees, but nothing about a trooper being killed in the line of duty?

My sympathies to the Butterfield family. Thank you to our Tri-Cities officers for putting their lives on the line every day for us. I think we take that part of what they do too lightly.

Tri-cities realist

Agreed. So sad.


Trooper killed by this wart was wanted! By his loved one's and his community!

I don't care about any sympathy this story seems to be trying to generate for this slug. "Good paying job trimming trees, wife that is pregnant, just moved into their own place," ......"Things were looking up. Then this happens."

This didn't just happen, this idiot took action and ended a man's life dammit! Now we get to pay for him for the next 50 to 60 years while he rots in prison. That's the tragedy here. The Butterfield family does not get to make any more memories with him.

Those interested in donating to a memorial for the fallen hero:

If a survival cord is not for you but you still would like to honor Trooper Butterfield’s memory the Michigan State Troopers Assistance Fund has set up a “Paul Butterfield Memorial”. All money donated specifically to that memorial will be used at the request of the Butterfield family.

The MSTAF asks that all donations be mailed to:

1715 Abbey Rd. Ste. B
East Lansing, MI 48823

Read more:

deuce liti

I don't think they were trying to generate sympathy for the loser, just that his life was going well which makes the act much more random and heinous. My father was a state trooper as well and sympathize greatly with the family.

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