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Judge permits Willis defense to use some of cousin's statements at trial

WZZM-TV • Nov 1, 2017 at 8:00 AM

MUSKEGON — Muskegon County Circuit Judge William Marietti ruled Tuesday that small portions of statements Jeffrey Willis’ cousin made to police can be used by the defense in Willis’ trial for the murder of Rebekah Bletsch.

The statements are from an 18-hour interview that Kevin Bluhm made with investigators around the time Willis was arrested.

Marietti is permitting public defender Fred Johnson to introduce statements Bluhm made relating to handling a gun, Bluhm's knowledge of where Bletsch lived, and that he thought she was attractive.

Other statements determined to be admissible include Bluhm connecting with Bletsch on her Facebook page and an admission Bluhm made relating to dumping memory from his cellphone and home computer hard drive around the time Willis was arrested.

Of the statements the defense requested permission to use, only one is not admissible. That one relates to Bluhm's alibi the day Rebekah Bletsch was shot and killed while jogging along Automobile Road in Muskegon County’s Dalton Township in June 2014.

Bluhm is charged as an accessory after the fact in the murder of Jessica Heeringa.

Willis is charged with open murder for the death of Rebekah Bletsch. Testimony for that trial is scheduled to resume this morning.

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