Teen who Jeffrey Willis allegedly tried to abduct testifies; police detail items found in homes

MUSKEGON, Mich. - A new week of testimony began Tuesday in the trial of a Muskegon County man accused of killing a mom who was out jogging in 2014.

The trial of Jeffrey Willis in the murder of Rebekah Bletsch entered the second week Tuesday morning.

Tuesday's witnesses included a teen girl referred to as MJN who testified that Willis tried to abduct her in April 2016.  The instance with the girl led to Willis's eventual arrest.  MJN previously testified in the preliminary hearing of Willis for the murder of Jessica Heeringa who disappeared in 2013 from an Exxon gas station in Norton Shores.

The teen described in court walking home from a party, sober, in the early morning hours when she got lost.  A silver van pulled up behind her and she asked the driver if she could use his cell phone.  He said yes, but only if she got in the van.

Warning: Some of these images contain disturbing content

MJN then testified that when she got in the van, the driver rolled up the windows, locked the doors and said his phone battery was dead and she couldn't use it.  He then reached under the seat and pulled out a gun, with an orange tip and pointed it at her.  She then unlocked the door and jumped out while the van was still moving along Green Creek Road.

She identified Willis as the driver of the van.

Rebekah Bletsch

The next witness, Dawn Schmitt, saw MJN running down the road yelling for help and "he's got a gun!"  She let her in her home and they called police.

Other witnesses called Tuesday included police who responded to MJN's call and also investigators who then tied the description that she gave of Willis's van to Willis.

Tuesday afternoon, Muskegon County Detective Chad Peterson took the stand.  Peterson was involved in the search of Willis home on South Sheridan Road.

Peterson testified about finding a handgun in the dresser of Willis' master bedroom, along with an external hard drive, a thumb drive and computer towers.  In another room, he found needles inside a small zipped bag.

Outside in Willis' shed, Peterson says they found a green bag with a camera inside and also underwear that was wrapped in aluminum foil in the attic of the shed.

Michigan State Police Sgt. Tom Flowers testified about the items he found in a black tool box which was found in Willis' van.  Items found included a diagram of the female body with injection sites on the lid, handcuffs, chain, rope, batteries, a leather ball gag, a steel pole with restraints, gloves, lubricant, and a sex toy with batteries.  Also found were a picture of a man with two naked women, a list of names and keys.

In a locked box underneath the driver's seat, police found ziploc bags with gloves, a Walther P22 pistol with .22 ammunition, contact lenses, an orange cap, syringes and a vial of liquid determined to be insulin, and blue pills determined to be viagra.

Michigan State Police Sgt. Zachary Sparks testified of items found at Willis' grandfather's former home on Bailey Street.  Sparks testified that Willis was the only person to have keys to the home.

Sparks testified about finding a written note at the Bailey Street location that had three sections: one listing a woman's personal items and two sections listing gear, tools and sex toys.  Handwriting analysis showed that the note was written by Willis.

 

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