Defense points finger at Willis' cousin in opening statements of murder trial

Testimony underway in Jeffrey Willis murder trial

MUSKEGON COUNTY, MICH. - Testimony is underway in the murder trial of Jeffrey Willis. He's accused of killing Rebekah Bletsch in June of 2014. 

Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson began opening statements.

"At the time Bletsch was murdered not only did he intend to kill her but he also intended to abduct her," says Hilson.

Hilson told jurors they would learn Willis had hundreds of videos on his home computer described as rape, torture, and kill videos. He also said a baseball glove found in Willis' van had the suspect's DNA on the inside and Bletsch's on the outside.

Willis' attorney Fred Johnson told jurors Willis' cousin Kevin Bluhm killed Bletsch.

"We believe that the police will indicate that he was a person of interest to them, that he had details about Mrs. Bletsch's murder that weren't released to the public. In other words he had inside information," Johnson said Thursday in court. "We believe that Mr. Bluhm had both the motive and the opportunity to do this shooting and he is in fact the person that did."

Following opening statements, the first witness, a co-worker of Bletsch's took the stand. She told jurors nothing was noticeably different about Bletsch the day she was killed. 

Michelle Klint was called to the witness stand and was overcome with emotion. 

This all happened after it took nearly three days to select a jury. Klint and her husband found Bletsch lying in the road and called 911.

"Yes, we had stopped here and she was over there," says Klint.

The magnitude of this case led to an extensive selection process. The court spent two days narrowing down the potential juror pool from 130 to 50.

The jury is made up of eight men and six women.

We will have extended coverage of the trial on our website and the WZZM 13 app.

►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WZZM 13 app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@wzzm13.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.

© 2017 WZZM-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment