Accessory charge in Jessica Heeringa case stands

Kevin Bluhm is the cousin of Jeffrey Willis, accused of murdering Jessica Heeringa

Kevin Bluhm
Kevin Bluhm in court on Oct. 23, 2017.


MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — The man who told police he helped get rid of Jessica Heeringa’s body was in court Monday.

Kevin Bluhm is the cousin of Jeffrey Willis, who is charged with two murders including the murder of Heeringa. She vanished from the Norton Shores gas station where she worked in April 2013.

jessica heeringa
Photo: Jessica Heeringa.

Bluhm is essentially trying to get out of jail as soon as possible. On Monday, his lawyer argued that his charge as an accessory in Heeringa’s murder should be thrown out and his bail should be lowered.

Bluhm was charged with accessory after the fact because he told police he helped Willis bury Heeringa’s body the day after her disappearance and provided details.

“Mr. Bloom told the investigators, ‘I know where she is. I will take you to her,'” Muskegon County Chief Trial Attorney Matt Roberts said in court.

“The state has no evidence against my client excepts his own statements,” Bluhm’s attorney, Timothy Hayes, argued.

Those statements were later found to be, at least in part, false because Bluhm was charged with and admitted to lying to police during the Heeringa investigation.

“So the state is making statements about these false statements at the same time they are relying on the trueness of the statements for the conviction in the case at bar,” Hayes said.

The prosecution argued that police believe Bluhm had a part in the Heeringa murder.

“Mr. Bloom actually called his wife (while in the car with investigators) and says, ‘I’m doing something I should have done years ago, I’m going to take them there. Quit my job for me,'” Roberts said. “I think it’s counterintuitive to argue otherwise, that an individual who is willing to help someone get away with the crime of murder is not a threat to public safety.”

After about 45 minutes of arguments and clarification, Judge William Marietti denied both of the defense’s motions.

“He has admitted to the police that he assisted in the disposal of a body in a homicide investigation. That to me presents a very clear and present danger to the community. Why do I find the evidence clear and convincing? Because he admitted it,” Marietti said in denying the motions.

Some of Bluhm’s family members were in court sitting behind him. They did not wish to comment.

Marietti is also hearing Willis’ trial for the murder of Rebekah Bletsch. Testimony in those proceedings is scheduled to continue Tuesday morning.

>>App users: Interactive timeline of Heeringa case

**Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled the judge’s name as Marietta. It is actually Marietti. We regret the error.