Jeffrey Willis Sentenced For Murder Of Gas Station Clerk

He’s already serving life in prison without parole for one murder, and now 48-year-old Jeffrey Willis of Muskegon has a second identical sentence. That was handed down Monday in a Muskegon County courtroom for the death of 25-year-old gas station clerk Jessica Heeringa in 2013. She disappeared from work at a Norton Shores gas station in April of that year, and her body has not been found. Willis was previously convicted of murder in the death of jogger Rebekah Bletsch and is still awaiting trial for allegedly trying to kidnap a teenage girl in 2016. That was the case that broke open the Bletsch and Heeringa cases. Willis cried during his sentencing Monday, saying he’s innocent and didn’t get a fair trial.

Willis walked out of the courtroom during his sentencing hearing in Bletsch case and blew kisses at those gathered. That action led to the state Legislature passing a new requiring felons to remain in the courtroom to hear all of the victim impact statements. Willis was later forced to listen to a recording of members of Bletsch’s family as he was being taken to prison.