Deputies testify in trooper murder trial

February 19, 2014
Mason County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Steve Hansen holds up MSP Trooper Paul Butterfield's garrison hat.

Mason County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Steve Hansen holds up MSP Trooper Paul Butterfield’s garrison hat.

LUDINGTON — Two deputies from Mason County Sheriff’s Office have testified so far this afternoon in the trial of Eric John Knysz, the 20-year-old Irons resident who is charged with the murder of Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield.

Deputy Brandon Romaro, a 4-month rookie of the department, was the first law enforcement officer to arrive on the scene. Romaro assisted bystanders and secured the scene until medical and other law enforcement personnel arrived. Romaro was nearby when he was dispatched, arriving within six minutes of being called to the scene.

Chief Deputy Steve Hansen, who at the time was a patrol sergeant, was the second law enforcement officer. Hansen was at his parent’s house in western Victory Township at the time of the call.

Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola had Hansen hold up Butterfield’s MSP garrison hat and his empty gun belt to show the jury the evidence. Defense attorney David Glancy took issue to the chain of custody of the items, stating that Romaro was the person who placed the items in Hansen’s patrol car.

Hansen, an accident scene evidence technician, talked about the scene and his observations.

“There was a set of vehicle tracks where it appeared a vehicle left rather quickly… They appeared to be acceleration marks… Immediately contacted dispatch to fid out information that was given out during traffic stop. Plate information. Someone registered out of the area… it was Knysz.”

Hansen said Lake County law enforcement officials quickly responded to the residence of John Knysz, father of the defendant.

Hansen said he went to John Knysz residence, in Lake County and made contact with Eric’s father, John Knysz.

More updates later.


For more frequent updates, go to and #TrooperMurderTrial.

Coverage of the MSP Trooper Paul Butterfield murder trial is partially sponsored by FloraCraft of Ludington, and Dollars & Sense – Tax & Accounting Services LLC, 101 S. James St., Ludington. 231-845-7292. We appreciate their contribution to helping us provide coverage to you.

– By Rob Alway and Lisa Enos


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