Eric Knysz sentenced to life for killing trooper

LUDINGTON, Mich. (WZZM) -- The man who shot and killed a state trooper will serve a life sentence.

20-year-old Eric Knysz was found guilty in the September slaying of 43-year old Trooper Paul Butterfield. It happened during a traffic stop in Mason County.

Tuesday afternoon a Mason County judge made the life sentence official. Butterfield's finance and father spoke at the hearing and Knysz also told the Butterfield's family he was sorry.

"Eric decided my fate and the fate of my finance that night," Jennifer Sielski during the sentencing hearing Tuesday. "I am left here to spend a life without the man I love.

Paul Butterfield Senior had words for Eric Knysz. "I hope everyday you think about what you have done in one selfless act of cowardice."

Knysz also addressed the Butterfield family. "I am sorry. I never meant to take the life of your son, never meant for any of this to happen."

Eric's wife Sarah testified against him; she is serving a sentence of two to five years in prison because she helped her husband try to flee the area after the shooting. Knysz' mother goes on trial next month for helping her son steal a getaway car.


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