Convicted killer hears victim’s family on prison ride

Crime

MUSKEGON, Mich. (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 (230 kilometers) 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 disappearance of a gas station employee.

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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