MUSKEGON (WWJ/AP) – Sheriff’s deputies in Michigan repeatedly played the comments of a murder victim’s anguished family while they drove a convicted killer to prison.
Jeffrey Willis was granted a request to skip his sentencing Monday so he didn’t hear the statements by relatives of Rebekah Bletsch. But Muskegon County Sheriff Michael Poulin had a CD made.
Poulin says the 25-minute CD was played five times as deputies drove Willis 145 miles to prison Wednesday.
Willis is serving a life sentence for shooting Bletsch while she jogged in western Michigan. He’s also awaiting trial in the April 2013 disappearance of Jessica Heeringa from the gas station where she worked in Norton Shores. Her body hasn’t been found.
The sheriff says it’s important that Bletsch’s family knows Willis heard what they said after he left court. Willis blew a kiss to the courtroom on his way out.
A state lawmaker is sponsoring a bill to require convicts to listen to victim-impact statements in court.
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