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Kevin Bluhm expected to exit jail Tuesday

By Jon Mills/WZZM-TV • Jan 8, 2018 at 7:50 PM

MUSKEGON — Kevin Bluhm, the cousin of convicted murderer Jeffrey Willis, will likely be a free man following a sentencing hearing Tuesday afternoon in Muskegon County Circuit Court.

Bluhm pleaded no contest to being an accessory after the fact of murder in November 2017. That charge was related to the Jessica Heeringa investigation.

Bluhm's sentencing guidelines call for up to nine months in jail. He's been in the Muskegon County Jail for more than 470 days.

Bluhm told police he helped Willis remove Heeringa’s body from the basement of a vacant Norton Shores home. He told police Heeringa was already dead when he went to the home to help Willis.

Heeringa's body has never been found.

Bluhm kept information about the Heeringa murder to himself from April 2013 until he was arrested in June 2015.

Willis later shot and killed Rebekah Bletsch as she jogged down a Muskegon County road in June 2014. Last year, a jury found Willis guilty of that crime. He's also charged with the failed attempt to kidnap a teen girl in April 2016.

Jessica Josephson, Bletsch's sister, said Monday that Bluhm is just as guilty as Willis.

"It takes a very sick individual to hold on to that kind of information," Josephson said. "He contributed to my sister’s death, and I cannot forgive him for that."

Josephson and other family members say they hope the Muskegon judge adds five years of probation to Bluhm's sentence so police can keep track of him.

"I think everybody needs to be aware of what is now going to be walking our streets," Josephson said. "This man knew of a horrible crime and, because he did not speak up, my sister is no longer here."

Bletsch's relatives and friends plan to wear shirts with "your silence killed" on them to Bluhm's sentencing. Outside the courthouse, they plan to hold signs saying "Muskegon Beware" and "he knows more."

Willis is expected to stand trial for Heeringa's kidnapping and murder in March.

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