Tpr. Paul Butterfield's Family, Friends React to Knysz Guilty Ve - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Tpr. Paul Butterfield's Family, Friends React to Knysz Guilty Verdict

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State Trooper Paul Butterfield's killer, Eric Knysz, has been found guilty of first degree murder.

Those close to the case are reacting to the verdict.

Once they were sent to deliberate, it didn't take the jury long to find Eric Knysz guilty of murdering State Trooper Paul Butterfield.

The prosecution called its final witnesses this morning, then rested its case at the Mason County Court House in Ludington.

The defense decided not to call anyone to testify.

Knysz never took the stand.

Eric Knysz killed Trooper Paul Butterfield during a traffic stop last September.

A taped interview played for jurors included him confessing to the crime.

It took the jury about two hours to find Eric Knysz guilty on all four counts, including first degree murder.

A verdict many were relieved to hear.

"It was, you know, I had no clue going into last week, how painful it would be to relive September 9th and it was certainly tough but the verdict, and the attention the jury spent to the case certainly made all that heartache worth while," said Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, a close friend of Trooper Butterfield.

Six days of emotional testimony and hard evidence all resulting in Eric Knysz being found guilty.

"This Prosecutor promised that he would serve this case with a lot of intense justice and you did as you said," Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue of the Michigan State Police said proudly.

Many say they were confident the prosecution would prevail.

"We have to put faith in the system and we did and you know, it's bittersweet," said Cole.

And it was the verdict many, including Trooper Paul Butterfield's family and his fiancée, had been waiting to hear.

"I believe that justice was served today, unfortunately it doesn't bring Paul back, but at least his killer won't be out to hurt anybody else," Butterfield's fiancée Jennifer Sielski explained. 

While many seem satisfied that Knysz will likely never be a free a man again, living without Paul remains the hardest thing to deal with.

"It's too early to say, you know, it's just another chapter, it's this piece is done, but I still go home, and I still grieve and I still try to pick up the pieces in my life," Sielski revealed.

When Eric Knysz's family was asked about the verdict, Eric's father only said, "He knows we love him."