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Willis’ murder trial for killing jogger postponed

Posted at 12:03 PM, Dec 03, 2016

MUSKEGON, Mich. — The trial of a man accused of shooting to death a Muskegon County jogger has been adjourned.

Jeffrey Willis was scheduled to go on trial at 9 a.m. Tuesday on a charge of open murder for killing Rebekah Bletsch, a 36-year-old mother who had been jogging and was found shot to death less than a mile from her home in rural Dalton Township in June 2014. The trial was expected to last 8 days.

On Saturday morning, Muskegon County prosecutor D.J. Hilson told FOX 17 that the trial has been postponed and no new date has been set.

Willis’ defense attorney, Brian Hosticka, requested an adjournment so that he could focus on another Willis murder case — that involving Jessica Heeringa, a clerk who disappeared from a Norton Shores convenience store in April 2013.

Willis appeared in court Friday for an evidentiary hearing as part of the Bletsch case involving searches of his jail cell and person while in jail. It marked the first time he has spoken in public since police arrested him earlier this year for allegedly abducting a 16-year-old girl.

The teen was able to escape from Willis’ vehicle and help lead police to him. A gun of Willis’ was traced to Bletsch’s murder.