Wife testifies against husband charged with killing local trooper
By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
LUDINGTON, MI (WNEM) -
On Monday, there was graphic testimony in a Mason County courtroom from the woman who said she sat in the passenger seat when her husband shot and killed a Michigan State Police trooper last September.
Sarah Knysz faced her husband in court Monday, explaining the terror she faced as her husband shot the bullet that killed Trooper Paul Butterfield.
"He said he was sorry, but he had to do it," Knysz stated.
Bridgeport native Paul Butterfield was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Sept. 9, 2013.
Knysz laid out the circumstances, explaining she and her husband went to sell stolen guns at a bowling alley in Ludington that night. On their way back is when Butterfield made the stop.
"He had sold some of the guns, but not all of them, when he got pulled over," said Knysz.
She said her husband was driving on a suspended license - circumstances she believes led to Eric Knysz's decision to pull the trigger.
"He had to shoot him. He started to ask how it was going and my husband shot him," said Sarah Knysz.
She said her husband shot the trooper in the face and drove away. As part of a plea deal, Sarah Knysz agreed to testify against her husband. She was charged with being an accessory to the crime and is serving two to five years in prison.
The Mason County prosecutor read a letter written by Eric Knysz to his wife's lawyer explaining more details.
"My wife attempted to exit the vehicle to help the trooper, but I told her if she got out of the vehicle, I would kill her," the letter read.
Once the prosecution wrapped up its questioning, Eric Knysz advised his defense to not ask his wife any questions. While the jury was out of the room, Eric Knysz told his wife he loved her and was sorry to put her through this.
The prosecution is expected to wrap up its case on Tuesday.
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