Judge asked if Willis can stay in jail until after Heeringa trial

Jeffery Willis in Muskegon jail headed to prison

MUSKEGON COUNTY, MICH. - Convicted killer Jeffrey Willis was arrested in May of 2016, and every day since then, he's been lodged at the Muskegon County Jail.

But soon, Willis will be transferred to prison. 

Read more: GUILTY: Verdict reached on day 10 of Jeffrey Willis' trial

A sentencing hearing for Willis is scheduled for Monday Dec. 18. 

A Muskegon County judge will then sentence Jeffrey Willis to life in prison for killing jogger Rebekah Bletsch in 2014. A  jury convicted him of that crime in November.

Typically in a criminal case, the convicted criminal would be transferred from Muskegon County jail to the Michigan prisoner intake center in Jackson.

Read more: 'I'm not a monster': Jeffrey Willis gives interview from jail as murder trial nears

But the Willis case has been anything but normal.

This week a motion filed by Willis' attorney asks a judge to allow Willis to remain in the county jail for several more months.

On March 6, 2018 Willis will stand trial for the kidnapping and murder of Jessica Heeringa.

"Our ability to prepare is definitely contingent on our ability to have access to our client," said Fred Johnson, Muskegon County Chief Public Defender.

Johnson says if Willis is sent to prison the state could end up placing him in a facility hours from Muskegon County.

"It would be crippling," Johnson said.

Prison placement may result in Willis and Johnson being less prepared for trial in March.

"There's a quarantine process, so we would not have access to him for 30-days," said Johnson. 

The motion is still pending, so the Muskegon County Sheriff's Department could not povide response regarding the motion. 

Jail leaders may also be called on to offer testimony at the motion hearing that will happen just prior to Willis' sentencing on Monday.

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