First witnesses called

February 19, 2014
Chuck Comstock

Chuck Comstock

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Three witnesses have been called to the stand so far in the trial of Eric Knysz, the 20-year-old Irons man accused of murdering Trooper Paul Butterfield.

Constance Helton, who works at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital (on Sept. 9, 2013 — the day of the shooting — it was known as Memorial Medical Center) was the first person to come across Trooper Paul Butterfield on North Custer Road just north of Townline Road in Free Soil Township.

Shannon Comstock

Shannon Comstock

She said she noticed Butterfield was lying on the side of the road. He did not verbally respond to her but it was clear he knew she was there. A man stopped and offered to find a phone signal to call 911.

Shortly afterward Free Soil Township resident Shannon Comstock and her teenage son and daughter came across the scene. They were on their way back from volleyball practice at Mason County Central schools and on their way to the Free Soil store.

“I noticed Connie waiving her arms wanting me to stop. She was pointing at the ground,” Shannon Comstock said. She called her husband, Chuck, who was working on his deer blind about 3/4 of a mile away at their home. He arrived shortly. She also called 911.

Constance Helton

Constance Helton

“I touched the trooper to let him know that I was there to help him,” Shannon Comstock said.

Chuck Comstock was the third witness called to the stand by Prosecutor Paul Spaniola.

“I seen the trooper, as she had said, a great amount of blood. He was faced down on the pavement,” he said.

“First thing I did when I got up to him was to try to assess and to see if he had fallen. It didn’t take long to figure out he had suffered some kind of gunshot. Shannon found some gloves. I put them on and I tried to control the bleeding. I tried to pull him back together and hold him and talk to him, to tell him that he wasn’t alone… There wasn’t much I could do.”

The prosecutor has over 40 witnesses on his list.

More updates later.


For more frequent updates, go to and #TrooperMurderTrial.

Coverage of the MSP Trooper Paul Butterfield murder trial is partially sponsored by 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.

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