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Trial date for Jessica Heeringa case delayed until May

WZZM-TV • Jan 26, 2018 at 2:15 PM

MUSKEGON — Jeffrey Willis' trial for the kidnapping and murder of Jessica Heeringa has been delayed until May.

The Muskegon County Circuit Court trial was originally scheduled to start in March.

At a motion hearing Friday morning, Willis' attorney argued that he's waiting for transcripts from his client’s first trial to be completed and won't be ready in March.

Willis has already been convicted and sentenced in Muskegon County for the murder of Rebekah Bletsch. He is currently serving a life sentence.

Following the conviction, Willis was sent to a state prison in Jackson. Public defender Fred Johnson said that too has delayed his preparation for trial.

"We got to see him one time in the 45 days he was over there," Johnson told the judge.

Willis is now assigned to a high-security prison in Ionia County.

Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson asked the judge to keep the trial date in March.

"I'm ready to go tomorrow," Hilson said.

The judge ruled in favor of the defense and granted a two-month delay.

"I'm as anxious as everybody else to see the end," Hilson said, "but the court makes the call."

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