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Suspected Trooper Killer Targeted Kentwood Detective’s Cabin

Posted at 12:54 PM, Sep 12, 2013

HART, Mich. –  The man accused of killing a Michigan State Police trooper was convicted as a teenager of breaking into a Kentwood detective’s cabin.

Eric Knysz has several convictions on his record including first degree home invasion, drunk driving, carrying a concealed weapon and domestic violence.

A source now tells FOX 17 the conviction for the Baldwin-area home invasion stems from an incident in which Knysz used a gun to shoot off the lock of a Kentwood detective’s cabin.  The crime happened when Knysz was 13 years old; however, Knysz wasn’t convicted until two years after the break-in.  Our source also said the weapon used was taken from the home of Knysz’ father, Jack, a former police officer in Illinois.

Knysz has warrants authorized for Monday evening’s murder of Trooper Paul Butterfield.  He was shot in the head during a traffic stop in Mason County.  Knysz is still hospitalized in Traverse City following a shootout with police in nearby Manistee County where he was taken into custody along with his wife.

His wife, Sarah Knysz, was charged in Mason County court Wednesday with being an accessory after the fact and stealing a vehicle, both five year felonies. During her video arraignment,  she clutched her pregnant stomach and cried.

FOX 17’s Christian Frank also contributed to this report.