'Your silence killed:' protesters greet Bluhm as he walks out of jail

Kevin Bluhm was released from jail today.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, MICH. - Kevin Bluhm walked out of Muskegon County Jail around 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 9. He was confronted by about a dozen protestors chanting, "your silence killed."

In the Jessica Heeringa case, Bluhm, Jeffrey Willis' cousin, pleaded no contest to being an accessory after the fact of murder in November. 

The court sentenced Bluhm to 476 days and credited his 476 days served and some fines on Jan. 9. The judge also sentenced him to five years probation with a GPS tether.

Earlier: Kevin Bluhm to leave jail today, sentenced to 5 years probation

Many of the protesters outside the jail were friends and relatives of Rebekah Bletsch. Jeffrey Willis was convicted for the murder of Bletsch in October 2017, and Bletsch's family believes that Bluhm is partially responsible for Rebekah and Jessica Heeringa's death for not going to police.

"We all really do feel like had he spoke up, Becky would still be here," said Jessica Josephson, Bletsch's sister. "I was angry, sad...it was hard to see."

"Killer cousins," "Where is Jessica" and "Becky should be here" were all chants that could be heard as the protesters marched around the block for hours after the sentencing with pink signs in hand.

The group believes Bluhm shouldn't be released and feel uneasy knowing he'll be walking the streets.

"We're unsafe. I have children I have grandchildren, everyone here has families, and we don't want him on our streets. He's not welcome," said Shannon Brannom, a friend the Bletsch family.

Protesters say they have just one message for Kevin Bluhm. They ask he puts everyone's mind at ease and speak up, in order to give the family some closure. 

►Related: A timeline of the Jeffrey Willis case

Debra Reamer, Rebekah's mother believes Bluhm holds some of the blame in her daughter's murder. "If he had stepped forward, I'd be fine. I'd have my daughter and maybe we'd find out where Jessica Heeringa is but without that everybody's hurting," she said. 

WZZM 13 spoke to Bletch's sister minutes after Bluhm's release, and she began to break down saying that watching Bluhm walk free was both sad and disappointing. 

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