MANISTEE, Mich. (WOOD) - A document released to 24 Hour News 8 Friday provides new information about what happened in the hours following the fatal shooting of Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield.
The 85th District Court in Manistee County released a transcript of the court hearing at which police obtained arrest warrants for Eric and Sarah Knysz. During that hearing, a detective sergeant from the Michigan State Police outlined the evidence against the pair.
The transcript revealed how police ultimately caught the couple, what Eric confessed to police, and what Sarah did – or did not do – in the hours following the Sept. 9 shooting.
According to the detective’s testimony at the hearing, it was 8:30 p.m. – two hours after Butterfield was fatally shot in Mason County – that two other troopers spotted a stolen vehicle at the Dublin General Store gas station in Manistee County.
They also spotted Eric Knysz, who had just finished pumping gas into the stolen car and was walking inside the store.
According to transcripts, troopers were able to get the gas station clerk's attention to get him out of the store before Eric Knysz spotted them and took off out the back door.
The troopers then ran around the building to meet him, yelling "Stop, state police!"
The documents showed Eric Knysz took off around the east side of the building with his arm extended out behind him, gun in hand, pointing it at the trooper chasing him.
The trooper then yelled, “Gun, gun, gun!” to warn his colleague, who had run around the west side of the building to try to cut off Eric Knysz.
It was that second trooper who ultimately fired two shots, hitting Eric Knysz once in the left leg. Eric Knysz did not fire his gun.
The transcripts also confirmed that Eric Knysz allegedly confessed to using a .357 Colt Python, one of several guns he stole from his father's house, to shoot Butterfield. It was the same gun police found in Eric Knysz' possession when he was arrested. He also had a second loaded gun inside the car.
Authorities said Sarah Knysz also made confessions, admitting that she removed the battery from her cell phone as the couple made their getaway, and that she did it so police would not be able to locate them while they were on the crime spree.
The documents also showed that police had not found any evidence that Sarah Knysz was forced to stay with her husband that night or participate in the crime spree.
"Even when her husband was not with her, you know, when he left for a period of time, she certainly had an opportunity to leave at that point," the detective testified. "She had an opportunity to alert the police to warn them that there was some danger or anything like that, and she failed to take any of those actions."
Both Sarah and Eric Knysz are facing charges in Mason County and Manistee County.
Eric Knysz was charged in Mason County with murder of a police officer, felony firearms, carrying a concealed weapon, auto theft and being a second-time offender.
In Manistee County, he was charged with receiving and concealing a stolen firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and assault with a dangerous weapon.
Sarah Knysz was charged with being an accessory after the fact and auto theft in Mason County, and unlawful driving away of a vehicle in Manistee County.
Both are due back in court on Oct. 7 in Manistee County and Oct. 11 in Mason County.
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