UPDATE: First suspect arraigned, husband faces charges

September 11, 2013

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UPDATED: LUDINGTON — Sarah Renee Knysz, 20, of 1844 10 Mile Road, Luther, was arraigned today before 79th District Court Magistrate Patricia Baker on a two count felony complaint, in relation to Monday’s murder of Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield.

Count 1 is accessory after the fact to Butterfield’s murder, a felony punishable by up to five years confinement and a $10,000 fine. Count 2 is unlawful driving away of an automobile, a felony punishable by up to five years confinement. A preliminary examination is scheduled for Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. at the Mason County Courthouse. A bond was set at $250,000 cash or surety and she was remanded to the Mason County Jail, pending the posting of that bond and the preliminary examination.

Charges have been authorized for her husband, Eric John Knysz, 19, of the same address. He will be arraigned on charges once he is returned to Mason County. He currently is a patient at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City as a result of gunshot wounds.

He faces four counts: Count 1, homicide-murder of a peace officer, a felony punishable by life without parole. Count 2, weapons-felony firearm for the possession of a firearm during the alleged murder of Trooper Butterfield, a charge punishable by two years served consecutively to count 1. Count 3, carrying a concealed weapon, a felony punishable by up to five years confinement and/or $2,500 fine. Count 4, unlawful driving away of an automobile, a felony punishable by up to five years confinement. He has also been given a notice of habitual offender, second felony offense, which would elevate the maximum penalties to 1.5 times the maximum otherwise set forth by statue.

Ford Stone, the Manistee County Prosecuting Attorney, is also reviewing the investigation for crimes that were committed during the search and apprehension of the suspects in Manistee County.

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