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April 17, 2014

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Lawyer: Man who shot Mich. trooper had stolen guns

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 | 9:26 a.m.

LUDINGTON, Mich. (AP) — A prosecutor says a man charged with killing a state trooper in northern Michigan did so because he feared being caught with stolen guns in his father's truck.

Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola made the allegation during his opening statement Wednesday in the trial of Eric Knysz (NIZE) in Ludington.

The 20-year-old defendant is charged with first-degree murder of a peace officer in the killing of Trooper Paul Butterfield II during a traffic stop in September.

Defense lawyer David Glancy told jurors Knysz is presumed innocent and that Spaniola's opening statement is not evidence, just his theory of the case.

The 43-year-old Butterfield was the son of a state police officer, a high school cross country champion and a competitive runner at the University of Tennessee.