Mother of accused trooper shooter refuses plea

February 4, 2014
Tami Spofford, left, with her attorney Doug Stevensen.

Tami Spofford, left, with her attorney Doug Stevensen.

LUDINGTON – Tammi Spoford, the mother of the man charged with murdering a Michigan State Police trooper appeared in Mason County’s 51st Circuit Court today where she turned down a plea agreement from Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola.

Spofford, 50, of 8124 W. Eight Mile Road, Irons, is charged with accessory after the fact to the Sept. 9 murder of Trooper Paul Butterfield. She is also charged with 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.

Spaniola offered to dismiss the second count, unlawfully driving away a motor vehicle, with the court’s discretion to sentence based on state guidelines. In addition, Spofford would be expected to testify against any other defendant in connection with the case, who at this time would be her son.

During testimony, in December, Sarah Knysz — wife of Eric Knysz, said that Eric told his mother that he had murdered Butterfield. Spofford initially had told the media she was unaware that her son had killed the trooper. She allegedly helped the Knyszs steal a car from a Branch Township resident. Sarah Knysz is now serving a prison term for her involvement in the case.

Because she turned down the plea agreement, she is now scheduled to go on trial on May 21, 22 and 23.

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