Mother faces charges of accessory to Trooper Butterfield’s murder

November 19, 2013
Spofford_Tammi

Tammi Spofford

LUDINGTON — Tammi Spofford, 50, of 8124 W. Eight Mile Road, Irons, mother of Eric Knysz, formally charged this morning. She faces a count of accessory after the fact to the murder of Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield and unlawfully driving away a motor vehicle. The first charge is punishable by up to five years in confinement and/or a $10,000 and the second is punishable by up to five years in confinement. Both are felonies. Spofford was arrested Monday by the Michigan State Police and arraigned this morning in 79th District Court.

Eric Knysz is accused of murdering Trooper Butterfield during a traffic stop in Free Soil Township on Sept. 9. His Mason County trial is scheduled to begin on Feb. 18, 2014. He also faces charges in Manistee County.

Eric Knysz

Eric Knysz

Earlier this month, his wife, Sarah, pleaded guilty of being an accessory to murder and unlawfully driving away a motor vehicle. During testimony, Sarah Knysz said that Eric told Spofford that he had murdered Butterfield. Spofford initially had told the media she was unaware that her son had killed the trooper. Spofford allegedly helped the Knyszs steal a car from a Branch Township resident. Sarah Knysz is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 17.

Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola said that as part of Sarah pleading guilty as charged, unconditionally, she will be testifying against her husband.

The Irons resident has had her share of run-ins with the law, including past charges of obstructing justice and domestic violence.

Sarah Knysz

Sarah Knysz

A preliminary examination in 79th District Court is scheduled for Nov. 27 at 11 a.m. Bond has been set at $35,000 cash or surety. Spofford is being lodged in the Mason County Jail.

In a press release issued this morning, Spaniola said the investigation is ongoing by the Michigan State Police Hart and Cadillac posts along with detectives from the sixth and seventh districts of the state police as well as crime labs from both districts and also assistance from the sheriff’s offices of Mason, Lake and Manistee counties and Ludington Police Department and U.S. Forest Service.

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