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No new trials for  Michigan man serving two life terms

MUSKEGON (AP) — A prosecutor says all remaining criminal cases against a man serving two life terms for killing a jogger and a gas station clerk have been dismissed.

A judge Tuesday granted Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson’s motions to dismiss four remaining cases against 48-year-old Jeffrey Willis.

Willis was convicted last November of first-degree murder in the 2014 shooting death of jogger Rebekah Bletsch in Muskegon County and in May for the 2013 kidnapping and murder of attendant Jessica Heeringa from a gas station in Norton Shores. Her body hasn’t been found.

The Muskegon Chronical reports the dismissed cases include the attempted kidnapping of a teen and child pornography.


Court affirms $12,500 for prisoner in trial against guards

ADRIAN (AP) — An appeals court has affirmed a $12,500 verdict in favor of a Michigan prisoner who said guards retaliated against him for cooperating with abuse investigators.

Randle Griffin says his rights were violated at Gus Harrison prison in Adrian. He says he lost a job in the recreation room and was given false misconduct tickets. He says a guard called him a “rat” and another warned that his cooperation would “come back to bite” him.

A report by the Ombudsman's Office listed dozens of complaints by prisoners.

An appeals court on Wednesday found nothing to upset the jury's 2017 verdict in Ann Arbor federal court. The state also had to pay $23,000 in legal fees and expenses to Griffin's lawyer.

The 50-year-old Griffin is serving a life sentence for murder.


Judge allows release of man who confessed to three killings

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A judge is allowing the release of an inmate who confessed to killing three people in Ohio during a string of murders in the 1980s.

The judge on Thursday ruled that a decades-old plea deal requires the court to release 59-year-old Nathanial Cook now that he’s finished serving 20 years.

Lucas County Judge Linda Jennings said that she looked for a way to keep Cook in prison, but she couldn’t find one.

The agreement forced Cook and his brother to confess to raping and killing young women during a string of eight murders in the Toledo area during the 1980s.
Families of the victims say the confessions from the brothers gave them needed answers, but they wrote letters asking the judge to stop Nathaniel Cook’s release.


Driver’s test arrest: Pot, gun, cash found in smelly car

GLEN BURNIE, Md. (AP) — A 22-year-old man who went for his driver’s test left in handcuffs after the examiner became suspicious about a certain odor emanating from the car.

News outlets report the examiner alerted a trooper at the Motor Vehicle Administration office, who searched the car. A State Police report says the search found nearly a pound of marijuana, a scale, more than $15,000 in cash and a handgun.

Reginald D. Wooding Jr. of Baltimore did not get his driver’s license on Monday, but he did get arrested on multiple counts. It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer.

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