Officials react to sentencing

April 8, 2014
Lt. Kevin Leavitt, MSP Hart Post commander.

Lt. Kevin Leavitt, MSP Hart Post commander.

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief. 

A community nightmare that began on Sept. 9, 2013, has nearly ended. Eric John Knysz, 20, of Irons was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield. His sentence calls for no chance of parole.

The Mason County courthouse was full this afternoon with law enforcement officials and other members of the community. Here are some of their reactions:

Lt. Kevin Leavitt, commander of the MSP Hart Post: “Justice was served here today. But, it doesn’t fix the loss for us of Paul’s death. He will never be forgotten.”

Sheriff Kim Cole.

Sheriff Kim Cole.

Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole: “This sentence was no real surprise. Judge Cooper did what he was supposed to do and what we expected him to do. I’m glad it’s over, for Paul’s family and glad it over for our department.

I think our community got a black eye from all of this and I don’t think that’s what our community is all about. Our county doesn’t deserve to be remembered as a the community that a police officer got killed in.

Rep. Ray Franz

Rep. Ray Franz

Rep. Ray Franz: “A life sentence is too good for this man, but it’s all we can do.”

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