Suspect accussed of trooper’s murder waives Manistee prelim

October 7, 2013
Eric Knysz

Eric Knysz

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

MANISTEE — Eric John Knysz, the man accused of murdering Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield, has waived his preliminary examination in Manistee County district court. Knysz faces murder charges in Mason County but also being charged with several crimes in Manistee County as well.

Eric Knysz hobbled into the 85th District Court room this afternoon, using crutches, a reminder of the gunshot wound he received from police before he was apprehended on September 9 in northern Manistee County’s Dublin.

On the evening of Sept. 9, Trooper Paul Butterfield was shot in the back of the head during a routine traffic stop on North Custer Road in Free Soil Township. He had pulled over a pickup truck driven by Eric Knysz, 19, and occupied by his pregnant wife, Sarah Knysz, 20.

The Knyszs were apprehended several hours later following a gunfight near the Dublin General Store.

In Mason County, he faces charges of murder of a police officer, felony firearms, carrying a concealed weapon, auto theft and being a second time offender. He has waived his preliminary exam in Mason County’s 79th District Court and is scheduled to be arraigned in 51st Circuit Court in Ludington. In Mason County he is being represented by public defender David Glancy of Ludington. In Manistee County he is represented by David Huft of Benzie County.

In Manistee he is being charged with receiving and concealing a stolen firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Sarah Knysz is charged in Mason County with accessory to murder, after the fact and unlawfully driving away a motor vehicle. In Manistee County she has been charged with unlawful driving away of a vehicle.

She appeared in Manistee’s 85th District Court this morning.

The purpose of the preliminary examination is to determine if the defendant should stand trial.

Sarah Knysz’s hearing was adjourned and Judge Thomas Brunner agreed to give her attorney two to three more weeks to prepare for the case.

The Manistee County case doesn’t involve the actual shooting in Mason County; rather, it involves the alleged crimes that occurred a short time after the shooting.

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