BREAKING: Jury Finds Eric Knysz Guilty Of First Degree Murder - Northern Michigan's News Leader

BREAKING: Jury Finds Eric Knysz Guilty Of First Degree Murder

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Guilty of first degree murder. The Eric Knysz trial is over, and it didn't take the jury very long to decide his fate.

A Mason County jury found Eric Knysz guilty of murdering State Trooper Paul Butterfield and three other counts.

The prosecution called its final witnesses this morning, then rested its case.

The defense decided not to call on anyone to testify. Knysz himself never took the stand.

This is a case Northern Michigan's News Leader has been following since the night Trooper Butterfield was murdered.

The trial started last Tuesday in Ludington. It was expected to run through the rest of this week.

Knysz killed Trooper Butterfield during a traffic stop last September. A taped interview played for jurors yesterday included him confessing to the crime.

He also said he had stolen guns and was taking morphine that night.

The defense argued in closing statements there was no DNA evidence, or fingerprints, linking Knysz to the crime.

After over two hours of deliberating, the jury reached a verdict tonight in the Eric Knysz trooper murder trial. 

 Those charges include first degree murder, felony firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and unlawful driving away of a vehicle.

 The jury made their decision based on six days of witness testimony from the prosecution. 

 When the verdict was read, Knysz's reaction in court was similar to every other day, little to no reaction.

The defense choose not to speak at the press conference.

Stay with 9&10 News tonight for continuing coverage on this trial. 

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The prosecution and defense gave their closing arguments at 1:30 PM in the Eric Knysz murder trial.

The prosecution spent the last week calling witnesses, and rested its case this morning. The defense chose to not call any witnesses, meaning Knysz himself never testified.

This morning, Dr. David Start, a forensic pathologist and medical examiner from the Grand Rapids, area took the stand. Dr. Start performed the autopsy on Trooper Paul Butterfield. After his examination, he was able to determine Trooper Butterfield's cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. He also determined that the matter of death was homicide.

Family of Trooper Butterfield waited in the hallway during Dr. Start's testimony.

Second on the stand, Michigan State Police Det/Sgt Scott Rios, the lead investigator on the case. During his testimony, he spoke about defendant Eric Knysz's suspended license and how it was supposed to be reinstated at midnight the night of the shooting. He also went over a timeline of events that he put together from the night of the Trooper Butterfield shooting.

Det/Sgt Rios is expected to be the last witness for the prosecution.

Many members of law enforcement are in attendance today including Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, the director of Michigan State Police.

Stay with 9&10 News for the latest developments on the trial.

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