MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) – Jurors in western Michigan have convicted a man of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a woman who was killed while jogging in 2014.
The verdict was read shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday. Jeffrey Willis denied any role in Rebekah Bletsch’s death in Muskegon County’s Dalton Township, but the evidence against him was strong.
Willis faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance for parole. Two other cases still are pending. He’s charged with trying to kidnap a teenager and killing a gas station clerk whose body still hasn’t been found.
A gun in Willis’ van matched the weapon used in the Bletsch shooting. Willis tried to pin her death on a cousin when he testified Wednesday.
Defense attorney Fred Johnson says Willis isn’t “likeable,” but he urged jurors to set that aside.
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