A former school maintenance worker was sentenced to life in prison after killing a 16-year-old girl who'd accused him of rape.
Mujey Dumbuya’s body was found doused with bleach along a trail in Kalamazoo, four days after she went missing on Jan. 24, 2018, the Associated Press reports. The previous year Dumbuya, who was just 15 at the time, had accused Quinn James, a maintenance worker who worked at East Kentwood High School of raping her.
Authorities believe James strangled her while out on a $100,000 cash bond in the assault case so that she would be unable to testify against him in court, local news station WOOD reports.
Forensic investigators found James’ DNA on her clothes and Dumbuya’s blood in the car he had rented. The car was also caught on surveillance footage near where the body would later be found.
“You destroyed her and then you turned around and you take her from me,” Dumbuya’s mother, Fatmata Corneh said in court Monday during the sentencing.
She had argued that James, who was previously convicted of raping the teen, should never be released from jail.
“How coward you are, how heartless you are. It is hard for me to forgive him, people like this don’t deserve to be part of the community,” she said according to WXMI.
The young victim’s aunt, Jainya Sannoh, also addressed the court calling James “a serpent” who had been waiting for his prey.
“He has no idea what he was done to the family,” she said.
During his opportunity to speak, James began to cry and asserted his innocence.
“It wasn’t me,” he said. “I didn’t do that.”
James was already facing a 20- to 30-year sentence for the rape conviction when the judge handed down the life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder.
James reportedly plans to appeal the murder conviction.
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