Judge refuses to combine trials of Jeffrey Willis

Posted at 12:02 PM, Apr 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-23 12:02:59-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. – A Muskegon County judge has rejected the prosecutor’s motion to combine the next trials of an already convicted murderer.

Prosecutor D.J. Hilson tells FOX 17 he had asked the judge to combine the upcoming trials of Jeffrey Willis for the murder of Jessica Heeringa in 2013, with another pending trial for Willis for an attempted abduction of a minor in 2016. The failed abduction in 2016 led to Willis’ arrest, which led to charges in the Heeringa disappearance and the murder of Rebekah Bletsch in 2014.  Willis is already serving a life sentence for the murder of  Bletsch.

Jessica Heeringa disappeared in the spring of 2013 from her job at a Norton Shores gas station.  She has not been found.

While Hilson asked for the combination of the trials, Willis’ defense maintained the trials should take place separately and the judge agreed.  The trial for the attempted abduction will take place after the Heeringa murder trial.

A date for the Heeringa murder trial has not yet been set.