Charges filed in murdered MSP Trooper case

Mason County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Spaniola announced Wednesday charges have been filed against two people involved in the murder of Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield on September 9.

Trooper Paul Butterfield, killed on Sept. 9

Trooper Paul Butterfield, killed on Sept. 9

Eric John Knysz, 19, of Luther has four felony charges against him.  He is charged with Homicide–Murder of a Peace Officer, punishable with life without parole; Weapons–Felony Firearm, punishable by two years served consecutively to the sentence for the homicide charge; Carrying a Concealed Weapon, five years in jail and/or a $2,5000 fine; and Unlawful Driving Away of an Automobile, punishable up to five years in jail.

He is also charged as a habitual offender, second offense.  That would elevate the maximum penalties to one and one-half times the maximum sentence.

Knysz’s wife, 20-year-old Sarah Renee Knysz, was arraigned in the 79th District Court on two counts.  She is charged with Accessory After the Fact–a felony punishable up to five years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine and Unlawful Driving Away of an Automobile, which is also a five year felony. A preliminary investigation has been scheduled for September 25th at 1:00 p.m. in the Mason County Courthouse.

The pair are also being investigated for crimes that may have occurred during the incident in Manistee County, and possibly Lake County.