LUDINGTON, Mich. — A 19-year-old man was charged with murder today in the shooting of a state trooper in northern Michigan, and his wife was also charged with helping him try to get away.
Trooper Paul Butterfield was shot in the head during a traffic stop Monday in Mason County’s Sherman Township, about 80 miles north of Grand Rapids.
Eric Knysz of Luther has been charged with murder of an officer as well as three other crimes. He faces a mandatory no-parole sentence if convicted. His wife, Sarah Knysz, 20, faces two charges related to driving away from the scene with him.
There was no indication that either had attorneys yet. Sarah Knysz was due in court today, Magistrate Patricia Baker said.
Eric Knysz was injured while exchanging gunfire with police as officers closed in on the couple some 15 miles from where Butterfield was shot. He’s in a hospital but was expected to appear in court Thursday. He has a criminal record that includes home invasion, a felony, in Lake County, records show.
“Good paying job trimming trees, wife that is pregnant, just moved into their own place,” Knysz family friend Demo Moore told TV station WZZM. “Things were looking up. Then this happens.”