Rape suspect now charged with Grand Rapids teen’s murder

Posted at 10:38 AM, Apr 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-11 16:23:12-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A man previously accused of raping a Grand Rapids teen is now charged with her murder.

Quinn James was arraigned Wednesday on murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges in the death of 16-year-old Mujey Dumbuya.

Mujey Dumbuya

Dumbuya was found dead in Kalamazoo on Jan. 28 after she disappeared from the Grand Rapids area on Jan. 24.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker announced Wednesday that James and another man were charged in connection with the case.

James, a former maintenance worker for Kentwood schools, was also facing four counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving Dumbuya. The East Kentwood High School Student reported to police in November that James had sexually assaulted her when she was 15 years old.  She was set to testify in the case.

"You have no idea what you have put me and my family through," Mujey's mother, Fatmata Corneh, said in a statement to James released by her attorney. "You broke us into pieces."

Also charged Wednesday was 58-year-old Gerald Bennett, who is facing one count of conspiracy to commit murder.  Bennett was previously facing perjury charges in connection with the case.

According to court documents, Bennett allegedly received a vehicle from James as payment for helping "in [Dumbuya's] murder and/or the disposal of her body."  Police also claim that phone records and surveillance video tie Bennett to James and the murder case.

"We are happy and sad at the same time," Mujey's aunt Najaj Konneh said in Mujey's family attorney's 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."

Another man charged with perjury, Daren Eckford, has not been charged in connection with Dumbuya's murder.

Gerald Bennett (Photo from the Kent County Sheriff's Department)

James and Bennett were both arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Kent County District Court.