Knysz is brain dead, family spokesperson says

April 15, 2014
Eric Knysz

Eric Knysz

Eric Knysz is reported to be brain dead, by a family spokesperson. WOOD TV 8 is reporting that the man who killed Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield is clinically brain dead after he hung himself with a bed sheet in prison Monday afternoon.

The spokesperson said Knysz was still on a ventilator at Allegiance Health hospital in Jackson and doctors were performing tests to see if his organs could be donated; he is a registered organ donor. The tests were expected to be completed within 24 to 36 hours.

A family friend told WOOD TV that Knysz’ father, John Knysz, is “confused” about what led to the suicide attempt. Knysz’s sister said the family hadn’t asked prison officials for answers. The prison has been “gracious” to her family since the attempt, she said.

Knysz had been on suicide watch at the Mason County Jail, where he was held from Sept. 9, 2013 — the night he killed Trooper Butterfield — until late last week after he was sentenced by 51st Circuit Court Richard Cooper.

Knsyz, 20, was transferred last Thursday from the Mason County Jail to the Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center in Jackson.

Knysz apparently left a short suicide note for his family.

4 Hour News 8 Knysz was in segregation and was not on suicide watch. The source also said guards were checking on Knysz every 30 minutes, which is standard procedure.

Marlan said MDOC is investigating the suicide attempt, but there’s no indication when that investigation might be complete.

“We investigate all deaths and suicide attempts that occur in our custody,” Marlan said in an email. “It would be inappropriate for me to comment on anything more as that investigation moves forward.”

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