A Michigan man is accused of murdering a 16-year-old girl who was set to testify in a rape trial against him.
Quinn James was charged on Wednesday with first-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges in the death of Mujey Dumbuya, according to FOX 17. He's also accused of raping her last summer. Prosecutors say he killed her while he was free on a $100,000 cash bond in the case.
Gerald Bennett, Quinn's co-defendant, was charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Quinn allegedly contacted Bennett through someone in Detroit to help him with the killing and disposing of the body, according to the Chicago Tribune. He allegedly gave Bennett a car as payment.
Dumbuya, who attended East Kentwood High School, told police in November of 2017 that James had sexually assaulted her when she was 15, FOX 17 reported. James was arrested and charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. He told investigators he had consensual sex with Dumbuya on at least two occasions, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Dumbuya's partially clothed body was found in a wooded area in Kalamazoo on Jan. 28, after she disappeared from the Grand Rapids area four days earlier.
She was last seen alive by her family as she headed off to school, the Associated Press reported. Her death certificate listed the cause of her passing as "asphyxia, including strangulation."
On Feb. 1, Quinn was picked up on an unrelated sexual assault charge. Quinn previously worked as a member of the grounds and maintenance crew at the same high school Dumbuya attended.
Kentwood District Judge William Kelly said that the $100,000 bond was appropriate at the time, the Chicago Tribune reported. "When I set the $100,000 bond, Mujey was alive," said the judge.
Quinn's bond was increased to $250,000 after Dumbuya died. He was denied bond on Wednesday in court, according to a tweet by WOOD TV8 reporter Heather Walker.
"You have no idea what you have put me and my family through," Dumbuya's mother, Fatmata Corneh, said in a statement to James released by her attorney, FOX 17 reported. "You broke us into pieces."
The family expressed ambivalence in regards to Quinn's charges.
"We are happy and sad at the same time," Mujey's aunt Najaj Konneh said in the statement. "Happy because we are closer to seeing the people who murdered Mujey get convicted. Sad on the other hand, because Mujey is not here to see this day."
[Photo: Kent County Sheriffs Office]