MSP Trooper Paul Butterfield laid to rest

8:52 PM, Sep 14, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: PHOTOS: Funeral for Trp. Paul Butterfield
MSP Trooper Paul Butterfield

MANISTEE, Mich. (AP) -- A Michigan State Police trooper killed during a traffic stop was a role model for everyone, Gov. Rick Snyder said Saturday.

Snyder spoke at the funeral for Paul Butterfield in the west Michigan city of Manistee. He told a packed gymnasium at Manistee High School that the elite runner and Army veteran deserved praise for dedication to his family, community and country.

"He was a role model for all of us," Snyder said of Butterfield, 43, who was a 14-year veteran of the State Police. "He was a leader. He lived the life of service."

The funeral was followed by a tribute that included a drum-and-bagpipe rendition of "Amazing Grace," a helicopter flyover and a 21-gun salute.

Eric Knysz, 19, was arraigned Friday on charges of homicide, using a gun during a felony, car theft and habitual offender. He was ordered held without bond and appointed a public defender, but an officer at the Mason County Jail said Saturday that there was no attorney listed in Butterfield's file.

Authorities said Knysz shot Butterfield in the head in Sherman Township, about 80 miles north of Grand Rapids, on Monday. Snyder called the shooting "a senseless and terrible act."

Sarah Knysz, 25, has been charged with helping her husband try to escape.

Prosecutor Paul Spaniola said Butterfield regularly handled cases in Mason County, especially following up with sex offenders to ensure they were complying with their many restrictions.

"He had a very soft spot for animals. He was a hard worker. He did everything by the book," Spaniola said last week.

John Knysz told WZZM 13 that the family was remorseful for the crimes his son is accused of committing.

"We all die a little when receive such terrible news," said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the State Police. "I don't know what motivates people to commit these violent crimes and evil acts. This tragedy is just so difficult to comprehend. Regardless, there will be justice for those responsible for his death."

Etue said Butterfield, who was engaged to Jennifer Sielski, "did everything right on the night" he died.

She said Butterfield, a second-generation trooper, was a track star at Bridgeport High School near Saginaw and at the University of Tennessee who will be greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues.

"He had the DNA of a champion," she said.


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