MANISTEE,Mich. — Eric and Sarah Knysz were charged in Manistee County back in September with crimes related to the shooting death of Michigan State Trooper Paul Butterfield. On Monday, Sarah was in court for a preliminary hearing, which was adjourned for two to three more weeks to allow the defense more time to prepare for the case.
Sarah, pregnant with her and Eric’s first child, is charged in Manistee County with stealing a vehicle Sept. 9, the night Butterfield was killed.
In Mason county, she is charged with being an accessory after the fact and again, stealing a vehicle. Both carry a five-year sentence.
Eric Knysz was charged on Sept. 24 and waived his preliminary hearing on Oct. 7.
He was charged with the following:
- Count 1: Weapons-Firearms-Receiving And Concealing
- Count 2: Weapons – Carrying Concealed
- Count 3: Motor Vehicle-Unlawful Driving Away
- Count 4: Assault with a Dangerous Weapon
- Count 5: Weapons – Felony Firearm Possession
He is also charged with murder of a police officer, which carries a life sentence without parole.
Other charges include felony firearms, carrying a concealed weapon and stealing a vehicle. And, because Knysz was convicted of a 2008 home invasion, an habitual offender second offense charge was also added.
Manistee County prosecutor Tom Ford, who knew Trooper Butterfield during most of his career at the Manistee post, said, “We’re all good friends. We’re a small closely knit law enforcement community, we will just keep on from here and try to attain some level of justice for Trooper Butterfield.”