MUSKEGON COUNTY, MICH. - The Muskegon County Circuit Court is making final preparations for what is expected to be a two-week murder trial.
Jeffrey Willis is charged with open murder for the June 29, 2014 death of Rebekah Bletsch.
She was shot in the head while jogging along Automobile Road in Dalton Township less than one mile from her home.
The trial begins Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Muskegon County Hall of Justice building. Some 500 potential jurors will make up a jury pool.
Nick Winberg, the father of Rebekah Bletsch says he's as prepared as he can be for the start of the trial. Noting it may be an exhausting event. Also a necessary next step in seeking justice for his daughter.
"It's really a shame," Winberg said about the murder of his daughter. "She was a loving daughter, a good mother, wonderful wife, and it's sad that she lost her life at the hands of a monster."
The monster, according to Winberg is Jeffrey Willis. "Something took him to a place that is really evil," said Winberg.
Still he want's the legal process and jurors to be fair.
"If people are fair minded, that is what we need, that is what our justice system is about," said Winberg.
The prosecution and defense will be seeking the same quality when questioning the jury pool beginning Tuesday morning. Fourteen jurors are needed to hear the case. Following closing arguments, two jurors will be selected as alternates.
"The whole thing is weighing on me," said Winberg. But when the burden gets too heavy, he says faith and acts of kindness get him through the day.
"I have had total strangers come up and say, 'can I give you a hug? You are going through something horrible, we are behind you,' and thank God for that," said Winberg.
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