Second day of testimony begins

February 20, 2014
Lake County sheriff deputy John Bennett testifies.

Lake County sheriff deputy John Bennett testifies.

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief. 

Eric Knysz with his attorney, David Glancy

Eric Knysz with his attorney, David Glancy

LUDINGTON — The second day of testimony in the trial of 20-year-old Eric John Knysz of Irons is underway. Knysz is charged with the murder of Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield.

The first witness to testify this morning was MSP Det. Sgt. David Johnson. Johnson was one of the first Michigan State troopers to arrive on the murder scene on North Custer Road in Free Soil Township the evening of Sept. 9, 2013.

After assessing the scene, Johnson was ordered by a superior officer to begin obtaining search warrants. One of his duties, which took place later in the month, was obtaining DNA samples from Eric Knysz and his wife, Sarah. Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola said DNA will be presented in court on Friday, along with other lab samples.

Det. Sgt. David Johnson from MSP with Butterfield's holster.

Det. Sgt. David Johnson from MSP with Butterfield’s holster.

Next witness was Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputy John Bennett. Bennett lives in the Irons area, near the Knysz family. He said he is familiar with the Knysz family. After being given information about the truck and who owned it, Bennett responded to John Knysz’s house. There, he was told by John Knysz that Eric and his wife, Sarah, had borrowed the red 1988 Chevrolet pickup truck earlier that day because Eric needed to go to the hospital in Ludington.

After searching the property, with permission, Bennett left the scene. Shortly afterwards he encountered the Chevrolet pickup truck. He and other officers pulled it over and discovered that it was occupied only by Tammi Spofford, Eric’s mother (who is divorced from John Knysz).

Spofford told deputies that she had traveled with Eric and Sarah so Eric could buy a vehicle in Branch Township.

The deputy said he observed blood on the driver’s side door and running board of the pickup truck. Spofford said she did not know where Eric was but she suggested some places where Eric might be hanging out.

Major sponsor of MCP’s trial coverage is FloraCraft of Ludington: Additional sponsorship by Dollars & Sense Accounting of Ludington: 231-845-7292.


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