Sarah Knysz ordered to stand trial in death of Trooper Butterfield

6:54 AM, Oct 30, 2013   |    comments
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Sarah Knysz

MANISTEE, Mich. (WZZM) -- The wife of the man accused of murdering a Michigan State trooper will go to trial.

Sarah Knysz is charged for her alleged role in stealing a car after the murder of Michigan State Police trooper Paul Butterfield. Investigators say she hid a small, but key piece of evidence in her bra that night.

In a preliminary hearing, the Manistee County Prosecutor needs only to convince a judge the defendant likely committed the crime he or she is charged with. In this case, that Sarah Knysz drove away in a car she knew was stolen and took actions to avoid getting caught by police.

Tuesday a district judge said Manistee County Prosecutor Ford Stone meet that requirement, first by asking Timothy Schultz to recall the day his Grand Prix was taken by Eric Knysz.

"He stepped in the car and drove out of the driveway," testified Schultz, who says he meet Sarah Knysz earlier in the day September 9. However Schultz didn't see Sarah when Eric drove off in the Pontiac without paying.

Michigan State Police detective Mark Miller says that's because the truck used during the shooting of Trooper Butterfield was parked down the road from the Schultz home. "The residence was not even within sight."

Det. Miller says Sarah and Eric's mother were waiting in the truck and Sara admitted knowing Eric did not have enough cash to buy the car. "She said that Eric had money with him, but it was less than $500."

This is after trooper Butterfield had been shot and that money was to be used for something else. "I believe she told me that Eric wanted to use any money they had to leave the area," testified Det. Miller.

Det. Miller adds Sara removed the battery from her cell phone while Eric was stealing the car. "It is not transmitting any data from the phone and it has no signal so there is no way to track it."

Eventually police arrested Sarah and Eric at the hospital the night of September 9 while Sarah was being checked for any problems with her pregnancy. "She indicated that she had the memory card from the phone on her person, she had that concealed in her bra," said Det. Miller.

The information on the card was not used at Tuesday's hearing; presumably it's being saved for trial.

Knysz' attorney asked the judge to consider at no time on September 9 was his client driving the stolen car. But prosecutors were convincing in arguing Sarah's actions are sufficient for the charges to stand.

"I am saying that she was there and knew what was going on and took no action to change the situation or get out of the situation," testified Det. Miller.

Eric Knysz' father Jack hopes eventually a jury reaches a different conclusion. "I do not think she should be found guilty. If your husband says, "Come on, let's go!' what are you going to do? You're married one year, you are pregnant. So I wish it would have turned out differently."

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