Michigan man faces murder charge in 2014 death - WNEM TV 5

Michigan man faces murder charge in 2014 death

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MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) -

A man charged with killing a jogger in western Michigan in 2014 has appeared in court to hear the accusations against him.

Jeffrey Willis appeared in court Wednesday without an attorney, which is typical at arraignments. The Muskegon County judge entered not guilty pleas on Willis' behalf. He will get a court-appointed attorney.

The 46-year-old Willis was arrested last week and charged with kidnapping after a 16-year-old girl says he abducted her and she escaped from his van. Now he's charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Rebekah Bletsch, who was killed while jogging about two years ago.

Police say they've connected a gun seized from Willis' van to Bletsch's death. Willis is also a suspect in the 2013 disappearance of a gas station clerk, Jessica Heeringa.

11:35 a.m.

A western Michigan man accused of abducting a 16-year-old girl last month has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a 36-year-old woman in 2014.

The Muskegon County prosecutor's office announced the charge Wednesday against 46-year-old Jeffrey Willis, of Muskegon Township, in the death of Rebekah Bletsch.

Willis had been under investigation in her death since he was charged last week with kidnapping and other crimes in an incident involving a girl in Muskegon County's Fruitland Township. She told investigators that she jumped out of Willis' van to escape.

Authorities also have said Willis is being investigated in the 2013 disappearance of then-25-year-old Jessica Heeringa.

He's being held on $1 million bond. The public defender's office, which is representing Willis, says it doesn't comment on pending cases.

Copyright 2016 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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