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Jeffrey Willis found guilty of first-degree murder

By the Associated Press • Nov 2, 2017 at 5:23 PM

MUSKEGON (AP) — Jurors have convicted a Muskegon County man of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a woman who was killed while jogging in 2014.

The verdict was read shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday.

Jeffrey Willis denied any role in Rebekah Bletsch's death in Muskegon County's Dalton Township, but the evidence against him was strong.

Willis now faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance for parole.

Two other cases still are pending. He's charged with trying to kidnap a teenager and killing a gas station clerk, Jessica Heeringa, whose body still hasn't been found.

A gun in Willis' van matched the weapon used in the Bletsch shooting. Willis tried to pin her death on a cousin when he testified Wednesday.

Defense attorney Fred Johnson said Willis isn't "likeable," but he urged jurors to set that aside.

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