BLOG: Jeffrey Willis takes the stand on day 9 of trial

Willis testimony

MUSKEGON COUNTY, MICH. - The trial of Jeffrey Willis for the murder of Rebekah Bletsch continues Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017 marks the ninth day of court.

The judge ordered no cameras be permitted into the court room, however, we were still able to provide audio. You can listen to it on our Facebook.

4:05 p.m. 
Defense rests. Prosecutor says he has a couple of rebuttal witnesses but won't be available until tomorrow. Once those witnesses are done. Closing arguments will begin. Court set to resume tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. Jury leaves. 

4:04 p.m.
Bluhm tells police say he touched the gun, he never had been in trouble in his entire life. 

4:02 p.m. 

Police ask Bluhm how did Willis so a lasso trick by himself. Bluhm says he doesn't know he says he pulled up speak to her lassoed her and she started screaming. 

4:01 p.m.
Police bring up hoe earlier Bluhm told police Willis wanted him to clean the gun, and that's a lie. Bluhm says he's tired. 

4:00 p.m.
Bluhm says Willis wanted him to get rid of the gun and he wanted to get rid of it. Bluhm says he said no and he left. Police say Willis didn't need you to get rid of it, he could have tossed it in the lake. Bluhm says he's trying to set me up, he killed those people. 

3:58: p.m.
Police say they're still confused as to why the factory reset. Bluhm says he was afraid of the porn and he had photos of Rebekah on there. He says he didn't have no more than 10.

3:56 p.m.
Bluhm says he never friended her on Facebook, they just talked at the soccer games, that's it. Bluhm says she was very beautiful but when the season was over he would only see her once in a great while. He would sometimes see her at school and she would wave. 

3:53 p.m.
Police ask Bluhm what made his mind trigger. He says when he first met her he thought she was a beautiful lady, but he wouldn't hurt her. He's the most honest guy in the world he wouldn't kill her. Police asks if he looked her up on Facebook he says yes. 

3:52 p.m.
Police ask if he spoke to his wife about wiping his phone. Bluhm says yes he told his wife he was done with it, done with more about 2-3 weeks prior. 

3:51 p.m. 
Police ask what does having an adult porn site on your phone, what is the connection. Bluhm says he didn't want to have any part of it all and he just reset it. 

3:51 p.m.
Bluhm says he had done it in the past. There was regular porn on there, that was it. There was regular porn on there and he didn't want to get caught. 

3:50 p.m. 
Police asks if he did anything to his computers. Bluhm says no. Police ask why Bluhm was concerned about porn. Bluhm says alright. If Police say what's the truth, Bluhm says there was porn on it. 

3:49 p.m. 
Police says on May 25 Jeff got charged with Becky's murder and on May 26 you reset your phone. 

3:48 p.m. 
Police asks again why, " Just to do it. I didn't want to do anything with anything anymore." 

3:47 p.m. 
Police asks Bluhm what he did to his cell phone on May 26? Police ask why. Bluhm says just to clear out the data. Bluhm says of course he had porn on there but just one porn site. Police asks if Bluhm ever reset his phone, Bluhm says I believe so yes or maybe the second time. 

3:46 p.m.
Police asks about marks, Bluhm says there were marks on her body. He heard it from chronicle or news. Police asks if he knew Bletsch. Bluhm says yes, kids play soccer together. Just picking up their kids from soccer practice. 

3:45 p.m. 
Police asks if Bluhm what part of the county, Bluhm says automobile road. Police asks if Bluhm knew details about murder, Bluhm says no. Only that the news said it was.22 small caliber gun. 

3:40 p.m.
Police asks if Bluhm handled the gun. Bluhm says yea he handed him the gun and he handed it back. Police says you didn't want to believe, he was involved in any of it, Bluhm says yes. Police say I can tell you what is true, that gun killed Bletsch. Bluhm says that's what he was worried about. Police asks and then it caused you great anxiety, Bluhm says he can see where that's going. Bluhm says he has nothing to hide, I have no part of Becky or anything. Police asks Bluhm if he has been following the investigation, Bluhm says no. Police says so you get your information from? Bluhm says the news, the news, 13 or channel 8. 

3:39 p.m. 
Defense wants to present evidence that involves interview between Bluhm and police. Two attorney's will read transcript of questions and answers between Bluhm and police. Judge feels it'll be easier for them to read transcipt than hear it on tape.

3:35 p.m. 
Prosecutor brings up list of serial killers, asks Willis if he printed the list out. Willis says he did. Prosecutor brings up hash tag on paper of Roy Norris, Willis says he did not write that hash tag. Prosecutor asks if he knew Roy Norris was known as tool box killer, Willis said he did not. Prosecutor has no further questions.  

3:32 p.m. 
Prosecutor says Willis was already creating an alibi in his computer, Willis says he was not concerned he was a suspect he was making sure he was covering his bases. He wanted to make sure if they came out he had the stuff he needed. Prosecutor  asks Willis if he was concerned he was a suspect in Bletsch's murder, Willis says no. Prosecutor asks, 'You don't dispute you knew you kept from police a possible murder weapon?' Willis says he didn't know what kind of gun she was shot with. 

3:31 p.m. 
Prosecutor goes back to Michelle Schnotala. Prosecutor asks Willis if police asked him about guns he had. Willis says he asked them about registered guns, and brought up registered gun. Prosecutor asks Willis if he lied about having .22 caliber gun, Willis says yes, he did. 

3:29 p.m. 
Prosecutor brings up at 11:15 p.m. on April 26,  Willis was driving up to the grandfather house. Prosecutor asks if Willis got the boards he needed, Willis says yes. Prosecutor asks what time he got home, Willis says around 12:30 a.m. Prosecutor asks and you were home the rest of the night, Willis says he got home and his wife got hungry so he went out to get food from Taco Bell. 

3:28 p.m. 
Testimony resumes.

3:04 p.m. 

Defense argues, the question Prosecutor asks in regards to what Willis said to police and the timeline. Says his client has a fifth amendment right. Prosecutor says he will word it differently. Judge goes on bathroom break. 

2:57 p.m. 
Jury asked to leave room. Jury leaves. Defense wants to call an objection. 

2:55 p.m. 
Prosecutor moves to Exxon station. Prosecutor says he had been there before, Willis says yes. Prosecutor says and Heeringa has cashed out plenty of times, Willis says he guesses. 

2:47 p.m. 
Prosecutor asks why was viagra in 'emergency kit', Willis says there was a guy at his work, hie wife and he were swingers and he was going to bring to them but the guy quit and he never took it out of toolbox. 

2:43 p.m. 
Prosecutor moves to gun and tool box. Willis says his tool box was his and wifes. Prosecutor asks he put needles and insulin in lock box, Willis says yes. Asks if it was for emergencies, Willis says yes. 

2:43 p.m. 
Prosecutor brings up swim meet videos, of camera focusing on genitals and buttocks, Willis says he did take them. 

2:41 p.m. 

Prosecutor brings up' 'jogger' video and ask if Willis ever watched it, he says he did not. Prosecutor brings up video tape of neighborhood girls, and secret video of Schnotala. Willis says he took video of Schnotalaand her lover. 

2:39 p.m. 
Prosecutor moves to, 'sexual outlet'. Willis says his outlet was porn. Prosecutor asks that including women being abducted, tortrued, killed, Willis says whatever was including in the zip drive. Willis says there was thousands of videos on their, there were some that he had seen. 

2:38 p.m.
Prosecutor asks in 2014 you were squirreling  though a phone record for a murder he didn't commit, Willis says yes.  

2:36 p.m. 
Prosecutor brigns up Vonage phone record, ask if Willis obtained it after Bletsch was killed. Willis says yes he took care of the bills. Prosecutor brings up 'VICS' profile. Prosecutor bring up encrypted code, for Bletsch folder and asks Willis if he put folders in it, Willis says yes. 

2:35 p.m. 
Prosecutor asks why didn't get her handgun registered. Willis says he didn't know he had to. Prosecutor brings up scratched off serial number and asks if Willis was ok with that, Willis says yes. 

2:34 p.m. 
Prosecutor asks Willis if he believes he got the hand gun legitimately. Willis says from his point of view yes. 

2:33 p.m. 
Prosecutor asks lending the gun to Bluhm May 2014 and him returning it July 2014, was very convenient for him Willis says no it wasn't convenient.  

2:32 p.m.
Prosecutor asks Willis you knew what detectives were asking you about but you decided to be evasive to find out what they know, Willis says yes, he didn't want to get arrested. 

2:29 p.m. 
Prosecutor says when police arrived to ask him what he did that day he lied. Willis says no. Prosecutor says when video footage showed his van in the area he didn't bring it up. Willis says he knew he was there, he wanted to know what she had said. Willis says he was being evasive. 

2:27 p.m.
Prosecutor says as it relates to MJN, he brings up circling of blueberry farm. Prosecutor asks if he remembers MJN testifying saying she just wanted to use her phone. He says he doesn't remember. Willis says that's not what happened. Prosecutor asks if Willis didn't do anything wrong in that encounter, Willis says he was trying to help someone. Prosecutor asks you didn't wait for law enforcement to show up to see if she was alright, he said no. 

2:25 p.m. 
Prosecutor asks Willis if he was aware that after he was arrested police search the home. Prosecutor brings up note phone in garbage can in which experts say he wrote. Prosecutor asks if he wrote note, about kit with handcuff and keys, and Willis says yes. Including underwear, matches, zip-ties, bag of rubber gloves, gas tank, small camera, big camera, etc.  

2:24 p.m. 
Prosecutor starts with Bailey road where Willis' grandfather lived. Asks if anyone was doing any laundry in the home after he passed in 2011, Willis says no. Prosecutor asks if Willis installed padlocks on doors, Willis says yes. 

2:23 p.m. 
Prosecutor asks Willis if it's fair to say he read police reports from this case, Willis says yes. 

2:23 p.m. 
Defense has no further questions. 

2:22 p.m. 

Defense asks how far away does Willis live from where Bletsch was killed he said about the same distance as McCormick. Defense asks the same with Bluhm's home and Willis says about the same distance. 

2:20 p.m.
Defense asks how far away McCormick gas station from Willis' home he says maybe 12 miles. Defense asks if he ever patronized that station, Willis says he doesn't think so. Defense asks how long does it to drive there from home, he says 20-30 minutes. Defense asks how far is it away from Bluhm's home, he said maybe 2 or 3 minutes. 

2:18 p.m. 
Defense asks if Willis killed Bletsch he says no. 

2:18 p.m.
Defense asks if Willis had file for MJN, Willis says no. 

2:16 p.m.
Defense moves to, 'VICS' folder. Willis says he created the JLH folder to put his phone records to prove where he was that day in case police came up he had everything in order for them. When Bletsch was killed, Willis says at the time it was a hit and run with a silver van. He says he thought to himself it's a silver van, he thought police would go back to him. 

2:15 p.m. 
Defense brings up list of people identified as serial killer. Defense asks why does he have it. Willis says when Heeringa went missing the rumor was flying around and it happened to be someone he worked with who thought it was maybe a serial killer. Willis says they were going up to Speedway and printed up that list and he wanted to go over it. 

2:12 p.m. 
Defense brings up Willis allowing police into his van not giving police his phone when it was right by his keys. Willis says he answered all their questions, where he was, etc. Willis says they are small talking phones, and then he put it back in the house. Police finish interview, Willis opens up van for them. He says they looked around and left. Willis says police called back later and asks for phone, Willis says he can't bring it in right now his wife had it, but he can bring it in after. Police say thats OK drop off in the morning. Willis says he did drop it off. 

2:10 p.m.
Defense moves to s&m and porn videos. Defense asks if he downloaded them, Willis says yes. Defense asks if there's an explanation, Willis says his wife had an abortion in 2010. He says sex life was downhill after that. He says they tried new things, toys one way and videos and what not. Willis says eventually says they stopped having sex he says, "That was my outlet. I don't know anyway else to put it. Kind of embarrassing." 

2:09 p.m. 
Defense brings up tape recording answer machine, about a police officer leaving a message on the phone. Willis says police called three times on the home phone and he called his wife's cell phone. Willis says answering machine messages are from his wife's phone. 
 

2:06 p.m. 
Defense asks Willis if the hard drives found were his, he says yes. Defense asks why were they placed where they were. He says one was in drawer of bedroom, other was just a back-up. 

2:05 p.m. 
Defense moves to the computers and hard drives in home. Willis says he got one of the computers from a friend. Defense asks if he used any of the computers? He says they sat there. Willis says he did not use either of the two computers in the living room. Willis says he used computer in bedroom. 

2:04 p.m. 

Willis says his  brother at one point changed the key, had to break into the house after a pipe leak. 

2:01 p.m.
Defense brings up Willis' grandfather house. Willis says his grandfather was over 90 when he passed. He says grandfather left all Clorox boxes downstairs. Defense asks if Willis used the bleach to remove anything other then ketchup from a shirt, Willis says no. Defense asks if he used that stuff at all, he says no. Defense asks if anyone else had access to home? Willis says brother was executor, had key to home and his wife had a key to the home. 

1:59 p.m. 

Defense brings up insulin in van. Willis says he put it in there, had been in van for months. Defense asks if Willis knew that insulin had to be refrigerated, Willis says it didn't have to be. Willis says he has insulin because both his wife and niece are diabetic. 

1:58 p.m. 

Willis says he his the breaks almost immediately after she jumped out. Defense ask if he threatened her Willis says no. He says he stopped vehicle through it in park and jumped out and he said by the time he got behind the van she was screaming down the road, don't shoot me, don't shoot me. He said he left because he was afraid he didn't want to get arrested. 

1:54 p.m. 
Willis says her road was the next road over and as he turns and he thought they went maybe 40 fewer. He says she said something but he didn't hear it so he turned and looked and she said could you please let me out, I want to use your phone. He said he let her out and he reached down and grabbed phone and he went to hand it to her and she just got out.

Defense asks if Willis pushed her out the door he said no. Defense asked if he ever touched her he said he did not. Defense asked if he pulled and airsoft gun on her and he said no. Defense mentions the testimony of teen that a gun had an orange tint to it, defense asks what could that be, Willis says his wife's needle tips.   

1:52 p.m. 
Willis says the girl gets in. He says the girls is really jittery he said he thought she was on drugs or something she looked like she was on meth. Defense asks if she put her seatbelt on he says no. Defense asks if they had a conversation he said no. Willis says he pulled forward to let cars go by, he rolled the windows up she then freaking out and said roll them down. Willis  says in the process of rolling the up the doors lock. 

1:50 p.m.

Willis says he cleared the seat and asked if she was OK. He says she was crying and distraught. His windows are down. He asks if she was OK he says she said, no she can't find her home. He says he asked where she lived and she said, no she said something about (inaudible). He asked her if she needed a ride home and she said OK. He said he unlocked the door. 

1:47 p.m.
Defense asks the involved of MJN, and asks Willis if he remembers picking her up, he says yes. Willis says he sees a young girl on the south side of the road, walking and he says she looks distraught. 

1:47 p.m.

Defense asks if he was involved in the disappearance of Herringa, he says he was not. 

1:47 p.m. 

Other than the one occasion Willis went by and got mints, Defense asks if he had any contact with that Exxon station, Willis says no. 

1:45 p.m.

Defense asks if he knew Heeringa he says he didn’t know her. Or the lady in the motorcycle, he says no. Defense asks if he had any association with that store, Willis says no.

1:45 p.m.

Says he played in tournament until about 9:00 p.m.

1:43 p.m.

Defense brings up the night Heeringa went missing, brings up photos of van. Defense asks if that was his van he says no he was at a game. At a kind of pokemon game.

1:42 p.m.

Defense brings up van, asks if he only drives it Willis says his wife also drives it.

1:42 p.m.

Defense asks if Willis made call, he says he made the call.

 

1:40 p.m.
Defense brings up phone document – 6:26 p.m. phone record, says that’s the call to his friend. 

1:37 p.m. 
Defense asks if Willis was working the night Bletsch was killed he said yes. Defense asks if he remembers anything else from that day. He says he mowed the lawn from between 4ish and 6:30. . He had borrowed a push-mower from a friend. He called the friend to return the mower and talk about the snow show coming up but friend did not answer. 

1:35 p.m.

Defense brings up tool box. He says if he just threw glove in van how did they end up in tool box, defense says they bought sex toys. They were in a shoe box in closet and his grandson came over and got into box of toys. Willis says he took it away and put toys m in tool box. 

1:34 p.m.

He says he returned the gun in mid July. He says the gun he put back in his house the glove he bought back in the van. 

1:32 p.m

Defense asks if Bluhm asked a gun, he says yes. Asks if it was before or after Bletsch was killed he said before. He asks when he brought it back he says in mid July. 

1:31 p.m. 

Defense brings up testimony they found Bletsch DNA  on his vibrator and glove. Willis says vibrator he believes was his wife and the gloves were Kevin. 

1:31 p.m. 

Defense asks Willis if he killed Bletsch, he says no.

1:29 p.m.

Defense asks Willis if Bluhm knew Willis gun and Willis says yes he showed him both guns he had. Defense asks if it was before or after Bletsch killing Willis says it was before.

1:28 p.m.

He assumed it was a friend or Kevin, his cousin who would come into the house. Willis says he asked Kevin one him if he came in and he didn’t say no. 

1:27 p.m.

Defense asks was there ever an occasion if someone else can get the gun besides him and his wife, they say they never locked the house. 

1:26 p.m.

Willis says he kept the gun in house by filing cabinet. He says he would take it with him in the van, when he went out of town and his wife was home. 

1:23 p.m.

Defense asks what the relationship was like with Michelle. Willis says, "There's a reason why she worked in an all men department." Defense asks if they were intimate, Willis says no. Willis says got the gun in summer 2013. He says the first pair of panties was 2012.

1:22 p.m.

Willis asks why he bought gun. He says whenever his wife was home alone while he was at work he would get scared. Defense brings up Schnotala's underwear, defense asks how'd you get them. Willis says he gave it to her. He says one day she gave him a pair and when he bought the gun she gave him a second pair. 

1:20 p.m.

 Defense asks Willis if he stole Michelle Schnotala's gun, Willis says he did not steal it but he’s not denying he came in possession of it. Willis says she wanted to get rid of the gun because she was going through a divorce and says she was going to sell the gun to another co-worker but the serial number was scratched off. Defense asks how much he paid, Willis says $150.

1:17 pm

Defense calls Jeffrey Willis to the stand.

11:53 a.m.
Defense has no further questions. Judge says next witness is going to consume some time. Trial expected to resume at 1:15 p.m. 

11:49 a.m. 
Prosecutor has no further questions. Defense comes back up and asks if the pizza receipt was from 6:24 p.m. Det. says yes. 

11:47 a.m.
Prosecutor asks if collected a pizza receipt, Detective says they collected a pizza receipt for 6:29 p.m. after the soccer tournament. 

11:45 a.m.

Prosecutor says Bluhm's child won soccer tournament and that last game started after 5:00 p.m. Prosecutor says if soccer match goes to 5:40 p.m. after medals and pictures and stop at Walgreens, they won't leave until 60:00 p.m., Detective says that's correct. Prosecutor says it will be about 40 minutes for them to get back to area, Detective says that's correct. 

11:43 a.m.

Prosecutor begins asking questions brings up the phone calls. Asks detective, if records show who made the phone call, Detective says it doesn't show.

11:42 a.m.

Defense brings up last phone correspondence from Bletsch was at 5:59 p.m. and defense brings up 911 call went off at 6:11 p.m. Defense asks how far away was Willis living from where Bletsch was killed, Det says its about 8 miles. Defense asks how long it would take to drive the distance, Detective says she doens't know. 

11:37 a.m.

Defense brings up search warrant for Willis' landline service. Defense asks if it shows that Mr. Willis made a phone call, Det. says it shows there was an outgoing call from his home. Start time: 6-29-14 at 10:26 p.m. Brings up phone expert with subtracting hours for UTC time and says its may be 6:26 p.m.

11:35 a.m.

Defense brings up McCormick gas station, and asks how far away is that gas station where van was caught on camera from where Bluhm lives, Det. says 3-4 miles. Defense asks how far is it from where Willis leaves, Det. says roughly 8  miles.  

11:34 a.m. 
Defense asks if Det. ever recalled Bluhm thinking he was at work at the time, Bletsch was killed, Det. says he doesn't not recall. 

11:33 a.m.
Defense asks Det. if she ever heard any other alibis, detective says from what she recalls it was always just the soccer tournament. 

11:32 a.m.
Defense asks if they were able to obtain video of Bluhm at Walgreens, detective says no it was two years later. No receipt available and bank statements don't show a purchase. 

11:30 a.m. 
Defense brings up Bluhm went to a Walgreens or Walmart  that day and asks if they were able to confirm that, detective says she confirmed it with family. 

11:29 a.m.
Defense asks how many cars traveled to soccer tournament. Detective says one vehicle traveled to the event. 

11:25 a.m. 
Defense brings out photos of Bluhm at soccer tournament, with his son. Timestamp of photo is June 29, 2014 3:50 p.m. Tournament was in Grand Haven. Defense asks how long would it take for someone to get from GH to where Bletsch killed. Detective would guess is a half hour or 40 minutes. Defense asks if there's a photo of any later date or time, detective says no. 

11:24 a.m.
Defense tells Detective she testified earlier about an alibi, and asks what it was all about. Detective says yes, that Bluhm was at a soccer tournament. 

11:22 a.m.
Defense asks Detective to her knowledge, how many alibis did Bluhm give when Bletsch was killed. Prosecutor objects says the ruling from yesterday deemed the alibis from the tapes could not be used. Defense argues this is from Detective's memory not from tapes. Judge allows the question to be asked. Detective says she's not aware of any alibis. 

11:20 a.m.
Defense asks if Bluhm was ever interviewed by police, detective says yes. An 18 hour interview. Detective says there was a number of interviews. Was present for most interviews. 

11:18 a.m.
Defense asks if Bluhm express interest in the case, detective says yes.  

11:16 a.m. 
Defense asking Detective the difference between a suspect and a person of interest. Defense asks if the name Kevin Bluhm come up? Detective says yes after they started investigating Willis. Defense asks if he was ever a person of interest, Detective says yes because of the information he contacted police with.

11:12 a.m.
Defense calls Muskegon County Detective Lisa Freres to the stand. Is involved in both Rebekah Bletsch homicide and Jessica Heeringa missing person case. 

11:08 a.m.
Judge says he's spent the last last hour going over the material the court ruled yesterday evening and have gone through the proposed transcript that is going to be introduced. Found the transcript not in conformity with the courts ruling pertaining to relevancy, both parties had opportunity to speak on that and will now proceed. Calls jury to come in. 

►Previous: Day 8 of Jeffrey Willis' trial

►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