Hundreds of potential jurors may be called for Jeffrey Willis trial

Posted at 7:02 PM, Oct 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-05 11:19:35-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. -- Several hundred potential jurors may be called for a high-profile murder trial in Muskegon.

The public defender's office says they're ready to call as many as 500 potential jurors for the Jeffrey Willis trial. Willis' attorney, Muskegon County Public Defender Fred Johnson, says they're expanding the jury pool because of the immense media attention given to the case.

Willis is scheduled to begin trial Oct. 17 for the death of Rebekah Bletsch. He's also charged in the murder and disappearance of Jessica Heeringa in 2013, and for the abduction of a teen last year.

Johnson says in his 35 years as an attorney, he's never seen a jury pool this large; 125 people will be brought in each day until they find 12 jurors and 2 alternates.

In September, the state Supreme Court denied Willis' appeal to dismiss evidence taken from his jail cell.