Motion to remove judge in Heeringa murder case denied

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Jeffrey Wills (left) at arraignment

MUSKEGON, Mich. – A motion to get a new judge to hear Jessica Heeringa’s murder case has been denied.

Attorneys for Jeffrey Willis had petitioned the state to remove Judge Raymond Kostrzewa from the case because Kostrzewa had worked in the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s office during the early stages of the Heeringa investigation, before he was elected to be a judge.

Heeringa has been missing since April of 2013 and has not been found.  Willis was arrested this spring on abduction charge.  Further investigations led to charges against Willis for Heeringa’s murder and the murder of Rebekah Bletsch in 2014.  Willis is awaiting trials on all the charges.

Ottawa County judge Bradley Knoll heard the motion presented by Willis’ attorney and denied it, according to Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson.

No new dates have been set in the case.

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