A Michigan man who strangled a 16-year-old girl who accused him of rape and was to testify against him has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for last year’s murder.
WMMT reported that Quinn James, 43, had abducted Mujey Dumbuya in January 2018 as she walked to her Grand Rapids bus stop. Dumbuya’s partially clothed body was found in Kalamazoo four days later—days after a date was set for James’ rape trial.
According to WOOD, James’ DNA was still recovered from the teen’s clothes despite her body being doused with bleach. On the day of her disappearance, a car James had rented was filmed near where Dumbuya’s body would be found days later. The teen’s blood was later discovered in James’ rented vehicle.
James had worked as a groundskeeper for Kentwood Public Schools, where Dumbuya attended. Sentenced Monday, he was convicted in February of the teens’s first-degree premeditated murder.
Despite not having Dumbuya’s testimony, he was still convicted of repeatedly raping the slain teen throughout the summer of 2017 and sentenced in December to 20 to 30 years in prison.
During his rape trial, a teen testified that he held the slain teen’s hand as James sexually assaulted her. WOOD reported that the rapes transpired at various locations, including in a restaurant parking lot, a playground, and a relative’s home.
In a taped confession, James admitted to having sex with Dumbuya but claimed he thought she was 18 or 19.
The ex-groundskeeper denied killing Dumbuya when given a chance to speak at sentencing on Tuesday.
“This is a horrific crime committed against a very vulnerable young girl,” Kent County Judge George J. Quist said, according to WZZM. “I know that Mr. James denies that he committed it, but having sat through this trial I believe that the evidence is circumstantial but it is overwhelming that he did commit the crime.”
The victim’s mother noted that her daughter would’ve graduated from high school this year.
“I love you Mujey,” Fatmata Corneh said of her late daughter in court. “She didn’t deserve what happened to her.”
[Featured image: Quinn James/Police Handout; Mujey Dumbuya/Family Handout]