Jury begins deliberations in Jeffrey Willis trial

MUSKEGON, Mich. - The jury is now deciding whether or not Jeffrey Willis killed Rebekah Bletsch along a Muskegon County road in June of 2014.

Willis is on trial for the murder of  Bletsch and is also accused of killing Jessica Heeringa in 2013 and attempting to abduct a teen in 2016.  Heeringa has never been found.

The prosecutor and defense gave their closing arguments to the jury Thursday and the jurors began their deliberations just after 3:30 p.m.

One day after accused killer Jeffrey Willis took the stand in his own defense, prosecutor D.J. Hilson came back calling witnesses to poke holes in the defense's claim of a different killer.

Willis and his defense have been trying to pin Bletsch's murder on Willis' cousin, Kevin Bluhm, who is in custody for being an Accessory after the fact in the Bletsch murder.

First on the stand Thursday was Rhonda Bluhm, Kevin's wife, who testified that she, Kevin and their kids were at a youth soccer tournament in Grand Haven at the time of Bletsch's murder.  She testified that Kevin never left the family or the games.  Bluhm's daughter also testified to Kevin being at the games.

Rebekah Bletsch

Det. Lisa Freres was called back to the stand by the prosecution for rebuttal testimony and Muskegon Co. Sheriff Sgt. Austin Aamodt showed dashcam video of the drive to the scene of Bletsch's murder.

Just after 11:00 a.m., Prosecutor D.J. Hilson rested the prosecutions rebuttal of the defense witnesses.  Judge William Marietti dismissed two jurors to bring the jury down to 12 and closing arguments began.

Hilson pointed jurors to facts in the case of the DNA of Bletsch found on items in Willis' van. Defender Fred Johnson continued pointing the finger at Bluhm as the real killer.

We'll have more updates from court throughout the day on FOX17online.com and on later editions of FOX 17 News.  You can also follow Dana Chicklas on Twitter from the courtroom.

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