Knysz is on life support after suicide attempt

April 14, 2014
Eric Knysz in court last week. In the background is Paul T. Butterfield, father of Trooper Butterfield.

Eric Knysz in court last week. In the background is Paul T. Butterfield, father of Trooper Butterfield.

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

JACKSON — Eric Knysz, the man who killed Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield, has attempted to commit suicide, a Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman has confirmed.

Mason County’s 51st Circuit Court Judge Richard Cooper sentenced the 20-year-old Irons resident last week to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the Sept. 9, 2013 killing of Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield. On Thursday he was transported by Mason County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police personnel to the Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center in Jackson, where men sentenced to prison are processed.

While jailed in Mason County since September 9, 2013, Knysz was under suicide watch.

MDOC spokesman Russ Marlan confirmed that Knysz used a bed sheet. WOOD TV 8 of Grand Rapids has stated that sources have said the suicide attempt occurred around 3:30 p.m. or 4 p.m. Ironically, just an hour before that, the Michigan State Police held an awards ceremony in Ludington honoring the three civilians who were first on the scene the night Knysz murdered Trooper Butterfield on North Custer Road in Free Soil Township. The ceremony also honored local law enforcement departments for their part in the incident.

Knysz is reportedly being kept alive on life support at Allegiance Health hospital in Jackson and is an organ donor.

Butterfield’s father, Paul T. Butterfield, was at Monday’s ceremony in Ludington and was on his way back to his him in Frankemuth. He spoke with WOOD TV.

“Mixed emotions, I guess. It just shows you what a coward he was,” Butterfield Sr. said. “I can’t say I’m going to shed a tear over all this. But, yeah, I don’t know how to react. I really don’t.”

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