Court affirms conviction for Jessica Heeringa’s murder

Jeffrey Willis Investigation
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Jeffrey Willis confers with his attorneys during his trial for the murder of Jessica Heeringa on May 16, 2018. (Joel Bissell/MLive, Pool)

(AP/WOOD) — The Michigan appeals court has affirmed the conviction of a man in the disappearance and death of Norton Shores gas station clerk Jessica Heeringa.

Jeffrey Willis, who was convicted of the murder in 2018, had asked the appeals court to grant him a new trial, saying some of the evidence that the jury saw in his trial should not have been admitted.

The court agreed some evidence found at Willis’ home should have been excluded at trial. But the court also said that doesn’t outweigh other “strong untainted evidence” that showed Willis was responsible for Heeringa’s death.

Heeringa disappeared in 2013 while working at a gas station in Norton Shores. Her body hasn’t been found.

Willis also is serving a life sentence for the fatal shooting of Rebekah Bletsch, who was killed while jogging in 2014.

He denies killing anyone.

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Left: Rebekah Bletsch. Right: Jessica Heeringa.

—News 8 contributed to this report.

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