Jury to begin deliberating whether Jeffrey Willis killed Jessica Heeringa

Posted at 5:02 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-16 17:02:49-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. – A Muskegon County jury will now decide if Jeffrey Willis murdered Jessica Heeringa.

After several days of testimony, both the prosecution and defense rested their cases and the jury will start deliberating the case.

Wednesday, Prosecutor DJ Hilson finished up presenting his evidence with his final witness, Lt. Michael Kasher of the Norton Shores Police Department. He went over final evidence found at the gas station where Heeringa worked, and was last seen, in April 2013.

After cross-examining Kasher, defense attorney Fred Johnson asked more questions that had been submitted in writing from Willis.  Johnson told Judge William Marietti that he had recommended not asking the questions, but Willis insisted. Marietti told Willis that if the questions don’t help him, he is losing his right to claim misrepresentation in appeal.

Before closing arguments, Johnson also made a motion that Marietti impose a direct verdict of “not guilty” because the prosecution had not proven that Willis had killed Heeringa.  Marietti denied the request.

Hilson spoke for about two and a half hours wrapping up his case in his closing arguments.  Johnson took about an hour.  The judge gave instructions to the jury and the jury was sent to their jury room at about 5:00 p.m.