Judge lowers bond for Willis’ cousin in Heeringa case

Kevin Bluhm charged with being an accessory after the fact in 2013 homicide

Kevin Bluhm
Kevin Bluhm enters a Muskegon County courtroom on Sept. 20, 2016 to be arraigned on a charge of being an accessory after the fact in Jessica Heeringa's murder.

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — A man accused as an accessory in the kidnapping and murder of Jessica Heeringa could be a step closer to freedom.

A judge Friday lowered the bond for Jeffrey Willis’s cousin Kevin Bluhm, over the protests of the prosecutor.

Bluhm has been in the Muskegon County Jail on a $250,000 bond since his arrest 10 months ago.

But Friday, Judge William Marietti, at the request of Bluhm’s attorney, lowered his bond to $150,000 cash-surety. That means Bluhm can leave jail if he puts the money up himself, or goes through a bondsman. The judge also ordered that he wear a tether, if he is released.

Bluhm was ordered to stand trial in February for being accessory to the 2013 kidnapping and the murder of Jessica Heeringa.

Heeringa disappeared from a Norton Shores gas station, and her body has never been found.

Bluhm’s cousin, Jeffrey Willis, is awaiting trial for Heeringa’s kidnapping and death, as well as the murder of Rebekah Bletsch.

Inside woodtv.com: Complete coverage of the Jeffrey Willis investigation

Bluhm initially told detectives he could take detectives to where Willis hid Heeringa’s body. He then told police he was lying.

Bluhm is a former state prison guard. He already has pleaded guilty to lying to police in both the Heeringa and Bletsch cases.