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.


(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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