Preliminary hearing for Jeffrey Willis to be held later in October

Posted at 12:19 PM, Oct 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-03 12:20:05-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. – A preliminary hearing for the man accused of killing Jessica Heeringa has been rescheduled for later this month.

Jeffrey Willis is accused of killing Heeringa in 2013.  She disappeared from working the night shift at a Norton Shores gas station and has never been found.  Willis was arrested this spring after allegedly abducting a 16-year-old girl who was able to escape.

Willis is also charged in the murder of Rebekah Bletsch in 2014.  Investigators say they found enough evidence in Willis’ possession after his arrest to charge him with that crime.

In court Monday, Willis’ defense attorney made a motion to disqualify Judge Kostrzewa from the case because he used to work with the Muskegon County Prosecutor.  That motion was denied.

Prosecutor D.J. Hilson asked for an extension of the preliminary hearing which was scheduled for Tuesday.  The extension is needed, according to the prosecutor, for the continued collection of evidence in the case.  That was granted and the preliminary hearing has been rescheduled to October 25.