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MSP Trooper Paul Butterfield Killed In The Line Of Duty

The Michigan State Police are mourning the loss of Trooper Paul Butterfield of the Hart Post, who was killed after a shootout developed during an attempted traffic stop the evening of September 9.

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2 days ago

Man Who Killed MSP Trooper is Dead

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JACKSON, Mich -  The man who killed a Michigan State Police trooper in Mason County has died.

Here is the news release sent to FOX 17 from the Michigan Department of Corrections:

 

Death of prisoner Eric John Knysz #706599
LANSING- On Thursday, April 10, 2014, prisoner Eric John Knysz #706599 arrived at the
Charles E. Egeler Reception and Guidance Center (RGC) in Jackson to begin serving his prison
sentences for the murder of State Police Trooper Paul K. Butterfield II.
On Monday, April 14, 2014, prisoner Knysz attempted suicide while housed at RGC. Following
the suicide attempt, Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) staff began proper medical
procedures to respond to prisoner Knysz’s condition and transported him to Allegiance Health
Hospital in Jackson.
Today at approximately 10:30 a.m., prisoner Knysz was removed from life support while housed
at the Allegiance Health Hospital in Jackson.

BhWkNlhCQAAMXLbJACKSON, Mich. (April 16, 2014) – The father of the man convicted of killing Trooper Paul Butterfield says his son will soon be dead.

The Michigan Department of Corrections says Knysz hung himself in his prison cell while at Charles Egeler Reception & Guidance Center in Jackson Monday.

Sources tell us he used a bed sheet and was pronounced brain-dead shortly after.

Jack Knysz, Eric’s father, says his son is on life support at a Jackson hospital while tests are run for organ donation.  He says the doctors hope to harvest 88 different parts of Eric for donation.

Jack says Eric took his life because he “couldn’t live with himself” for killing Butterfield and that he can only hope something good can come of such a horrible tragedy.

He expects his son’s organs to be harvested within the next 24 hours.

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File photo

JACKSON, Mich. (April 14, 2014) — Eric Knysz was taken to the hospital Monday after reportedly trying to commit suicide while in custody, sources tell FOX 17.

Knysz, 20, was sentenced last week to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the Sept. 9, 2013 killing of Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield.

According to Russ Marlan with Michigan Department of Corrections, Knysz is currently in a Jackson hospital.

FOX 17 will continue to follow this story and bring you updates as they become available.

 

LUDINGTON, Mich. (April 8, 2014) — Eric Knysz, the man convicted of fatally shooting Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield last September, was accused by prosecutors of threatening corrections officers while behind bars.

During his sentencing Tuesday, the prosecution said that Knysz threatened corrections officers by shaping his hands like a gun.

Knysz denied those allegations in court.

Knysz was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for Butterfield’s killing. He shot the Trooper in the head Sept. 9, 2013 during a traffic stop in Mason County before being arrested along with his wife Sarah in Manistee County.

Butterfield, 43, died later that night during surgery.

Knysz was also found guilty of vehicle theft, carrying a concealed weapon, felony firearm and being an habitual offender.

Jennifer Sielski, Butterfield’s fiancee, spoke at Knysz’s sentencing. She talked about a message she sent Paul the day he was killed, telling him she loved him.

“To this day the message remains unread on his cellphone,” she said.

“Your honor, I know that nothing can bring Paul back into this world or ease the pain of my devastating loss,” Sielski said. “But just as Paul did his duty to uphold the law, serving his community to keep us all safe, I ask that you do the same by holding the responsible parties accountable for their heartless actions, which caused the death of my beloved fiancé. I felt like the luckiest woman in the world just to be a part of Paul’s life. He had the ability to make me laugh when I was feeling my worst. He could inspire me when I felt defeated. He was trustworthy when I needed a friend. He was comforting when I needed to share my feelings. He was intuitive when I had a problem I tried to hide, and he protected me when I needed to feel safe. He was my friend, my inspiration, my hero, my soulmate.”

Butterfield’s father also had a lot to say to the man who took his son’s life and compared Knysz’s lack of accomplishments by the age of 19 to what his son had done by that age.

“At the age of 19 years old you have effectively ended the life of freedom for yourself,” Butterfield’s father said. “At 19, Paul was a high school graduate, a state class A cross-country champion and enrolled at the University of Tennessee for track and country. He ran marathons world-wide and participated in several triathalons…what have you accomplished by the age of 19? You’ve certainly made a name for yourself in law enforcement but not in the same way our son did.”

But Butterfield’s father wasn’t finished there.

“Paul was 43 years old when you murdered him,” he said. “By the time Paul was 43 years old, he served proudly in the U.S. Army where he ran and was in charge of the 23rd infantry division running team. He then entered the Michigan State Police where he proudly served for 14 honorable years.”I do not know if you’re planning on giving a statement to the court but if you say how sorry you are for what happened it’ll be for one reason and one reason only and as that is you got caught.”

Knysz did decide to speak out in court by saying, “First, I’d like to say I’m sorry for the pain and suffering that I caused the family and friends of trooper Butterfield. I’d like to also apologize to my family for everything I’ve done and the pain I’ve put them through.”

Then,while looking at trooper Butterfield’s family Knysz said, “I’m sorry, I never meant to take the life of your son. I never meant for any of this to happen.”

He continued to say, “Last I’d like to point out that my wife and my mother had no voluntary participation in this heinous crime.”

Sarah Knysz testified against her husband as part of a plea agreement. She is currently serving two to five years for being an accessory after the fact and vehicle theft

Read more: http://fox17online.com/2014/04/08/eric-knysz-sentenced-for-trooper-killing-accused-of-threatening-other-officers/#ixzz2yLhvLPB4

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Eric Knysz being sentenced at Mason County Courthouse

LUDINGTON, Mich. (April 8, 2014) — Eric Knysz, the man convicted of fatally shooting Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield last September, was accused by prosecutors of threatening corrections officers while behind bars.

During his sentencing Tuesday, the prosecution said that Knysz threatened corrections officers by shaping his hands like a gun.

Knysz denied those allegations in court.

Knysz was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for Butterfield’s killing.  He shot the Trooper in the head Sept. 9, 2013 during a traffic stop in Mason County before being arrested along with his wife Sarah in Manistee County.

Butterfield, 43, died later that night during surgery.

Knysz was also found guilty of vehicle theft, carrying a concealed weapon, felony firearm and being an habitual offender.

Jennifer Sielski, Butterfield’s fiancee, spoke at Knysz’s sentencing.  She talked about a message she sent Paul the day he was killed, telling him she loved him.

“To this day the message remains unread on his cellphone,” she said.butterfield fiance

“Your honor, I know that nothing can bring Paul back into this world or ease the pain of my devastating loss,” Sielski said. “But just as Paul did his duty to uphold the law, serving his  community to keep us all safe, I ask that you do the same by holding the responsible parties accountable for their heartless actions, which caused the death of my beloved fiancé. I felt like the luckiest woman in the world just to be a part of Paul’s life. He had the ability to make me laugh when I was feeling my worst. He could inspire me when I felt defeated. He was trustworthy when I needed a friend. He was comforting when I needed to share my feelings. He was intuitive when I had a problem I tried to hide, and he protected me when I needed to feel safe. He was my friend, my inspiration, my hero, my soulmate.”

Butterfield’s father also had a lot to say to the man who took his son’s life and compared Knysz’s lack of accomplishments by the age of 19 to what his son had done by that age.

“At the age of 19 years old you have effectively ended the life of freedom for yourself,” Butterfield’s father said. “At 19, Paul was a high school graduate, a state class A cross-country champion and enrolled at the University of Tennessee for track and country. He ran marathons world-wide and participated in several triathalons…what have you accomplished by the age of 19? You’ve certainly made a name for yourself in law enforcement but not in the same way our son did.”

butterfield dadBut Butterfield’s father wasn’t finished there.

“Paul was 43 years old when you murdered him,” he said. “By the time Paul was 43 years old, he served proudly in the U.S. Army where he ran and was in charge of the 23rd infantry division running team. He then entered the Michigan State Police where he proudly served for 14 honorable years.”I do not know if you’re planning on giving a statement to the court but if you say how sorry you are for what happened it’ll be for one reason and one reason only and as that is you got caught.”

Knysz did decide to speak out in court by saying, “First, I’d like to say I’m sorry for the pain and suffering that I caused the family and friends of trooper Butterfield. I’d like to also apologize to my family for everything I’ve done and the pain I’ve put them through.”

Then,while looking at trooper Butterfield’s family Knysz said, “I’m sorry, I never meant to take the life of your son. I never meant for any of this to happen.”

He continued to say, “Last I’d like to point out that my wife and my mother had no voluntary participation in this heinous crime.”

Sarah Knysz testified against her husband Monday as part of a plea agreement.  She is currently serving two to five years for being an accessory after the fact and vehicle theft.

 

MASON COUNTY, Mich. (Feb. 25, 2014)– It took the jury less than two hours to find Eric Knysz guilty on all counts related to the killing of Trooper Paul Butterfield last September.

Butterfield’s fianceé, Jennifer Sielski, has been in court every step of the way, and despite how hard the testimony was to hear, sometimes she said she just had to be there.

She even says she found comfort in hearing from those witnesses who came to Butterfield’s aid just minutes after the shooting.

“Knowing that they just wanted to help somebody they didn’t know and try, just try as much as they could to help him it makes you realize that there is good in the world,” Sielski said.

 It was obvious in court Tuesday how many lives Trooper Butterfield touched, including the dozens of officers that showed up to support his family.

“There’s a lot of pieces to Paul’s personality, and I think that the major piece of that was his sense of humor. It was just that power that he had to put a smile on your face,” Sielski said.

Sielski says while justice has been served it will never bring her fiancé back, back but she finds strength in what she has learned from him.

“I asked Paul to give me some strength that he had and I only do what I think he would want me to do and that is to be strong for him and be strong for myself and so ya know, I think some of that maybe rubbed off on me and I’ll take it because I need it,” she said.

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LUDINGTON, Mich. (Feb. 25, 2014) — Eric Knysz was found guilty of first-degree murder and four other counts Tuesday related to the killing of Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield.

Knysz, 20, shot Butterfield Sept. 9, 2013 during a traffic stop in Mason County before being arrested along with his wife Sarah in Manistee County.

Butterfield, 43, died later that night during surgery.

The jury deliberated for less than two hours before reaching the guilty verdict Tuesday.

Knysz was also found guilty of vehicle theft, carrying a concealed weapon, felony firearm and being a habitual offender.

Sarah Knysz testified against her husband Monday as part of a plea agreement.  She is currently serving two to five years for being an accessory after the fact and vehicle theft.

Eric’s father, John Knysz, also took the stand Monday, testifying about the guns Eric stole from him, including the murder weapon. Eric asked that his attorney not cross examine his wife or his father following their testimony.

Several others, including witnesses who found Butterfield after the shooting and several investigators were also called to the stand in Mason County over the past week.

Connie Helton testified Feb. 18 that when she found Trooper Butterfield on the side of the road on her way home from work, she knelt down to tell him to “hold on” and prayed with him.

She testified that he lifted his head up and patted his chest.

Mason County Chief Deputy Steve Hansen held up the trooper’s hat during his emotional testimony on that same day.  A hole was clearly visible on top of the hat.

Officers who arrested Eric and Sarah Knysz in Manistee County also testified, including the trooper who shot Knysz in the leg when he attempted to flee.

Recordings of of Eric Knysz confessing to the killing in the hospital were also played for the jury.

During the interview played in court Monday, investigators asked Knysz if he had anything to say about what he did.

“I’d like to greatly apologize to them. Tell them that I was — please hand them my sincere apologies. If I could do anything to change that, I would. If I could have him shoot me instead, I would,” he said on the recording.

He faces a mandatory life sentence behind bars when he is sentenced next month.

02-21-14 Eric Knysz in courtroom with lawyerProceedings in the trial of Eric Knysz in the shooting death of Michigan State Trooper Paul Butterfield.

MASON COUNTY, Mich. (Feb. 24, 2014)– The prosecution has introduced several witnesses and key pieces of evidence over the past week in the murder trial of Eric Knysz, but Monday jurors got to hear from the only eye witness: his wife Sarah.

Sarah seemed to make little eye contact with her husband, who’s accused of killing Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield.

Very emotional, she testified about what happened Sept. 9, saying  she saw Eric shoot Trooper Butterfield.

She told the jury what Butterfield’s last words were. “He started to say ‘How’s it going?,” Sarah testified.

The prosecution read a letter they say Eric wrote to Sarah’s attorney from jail, claiming he made threats to Sarah if she didn’t obey what he said after the shooting.

Although in pre-trial testimony, Sarah testified that she was never directly threatened with a gun, as Eric allegedly wrote in the letter.

After Sarah’s testimony wrapped, the jury was dismissed and Eric asked his attorney not to cross examine his wife.

He then told her “I love you and I’m sorry for putting you and (son’s name) through this.” Sarah told the court she delivered their son on Christmas.

Eric’s father, John Knysz also took the stand, testifying about the alleged guns Eric stole from him including what is believed to the murder weapon. Eric also asked that his attorney not cross examine his father.

Aside from hearing from witnesses Monday, the jury also heard the second recorded interview Eric had with police in the days following the shooting. He again confessed to police to shooting Trooper Butterfield.

In the interview, police also asked him about his back injury from a few years ago and questioned the amount of prescription drugs he uses. In that interview Eric told police he took morphine 3-4 hours before the shooting, saying he took “extra” that day.

During that interview, investigators also asked Eric Knysz if he had anything to say about what he did.

“I’d like to greatly apologize to them. Tell them that I was — please hand them my sincere apologies. If I could do anything to change that, I would. If I could have him shoot me instead, I would,” he said on the recording.

The trial will resume at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, the judge suggested Monday things were coming to a close.

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