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Ahead of Jeffrey Willis' next court date, prosecutor wants 1 trial for 3 cases

WZZM-TV • Apr 26, 2017 at 8:07 PM

MUSKEGON — Jeffrey Willis is expected to appear in a Muskegon County courtroom on Friday afternoon.

Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson plans to ask during a motion hearing that the abduction case, the Rebekah Bletsch murder and Jessica Heeringa murder charges be heard by one jury in one trial.

The public defenders representing Willis are expected to ask the judge to deny the motion and keep the three cases separate, as they are now, and hold three separate trials.

The prosecutor said he's making the request because all three investigations have so much overlapping evidence.

"Because they are so mixed and intertwined with one another, it just makes sense," Hilson said Wednesday, which was the four-year anniversary of Heeringa’s disappearance from her workplace in Norton Shores.

Hilson said one trial will be more efficient for the county, witnesses and jurors.

"Instead of bringing in witnesses in three separate cases, three separate times, bring them in one time and try the whole thing at once," he explained. "That's important as it relates to experts that we have to bring in and pay for, witnesses from out of state that we have to bring in."

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