A 42-year-old, Quinn James, was accused of raping a then 15-year-old girl in a school parking lot last summer. Now he's facing a murder charge after allegedly killing her while he was out on bail.
James worked as a groundskeeper at East Kentwood Public Schools where the victim, Mujey Dumbuya, was a student. She was expected to testify at his trial this month.
In connection with Mujey's death, a second man, Gerald Bennett, has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder. According to police, James solicited Bennett through an unnamed source in Detroit, seeking assistance with the murder and disposal of the body.
Authorities say James gave Bennett a vehicle as payment.
Mujey lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and went missing after failing to catch the school bus on January 24. Her body was found partially clothed four days later in woods several miles from her home. The death certificate listed "asphyxia, including strangulation" as the cause.
During James' 2017 bond hearing for the charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, judge William Kelly set his cash bond at $100,000. Last month, Kelly said, "When I set the $100,000 bond, Mujey was alive."
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker told reporters on Wednesday that at the time, the bond seemed appropriate. He said, "$100,000 is not an insignificant amount — it was a substantial cash bond that Kelly put out. [James] posted bond — it happens."
On February 1, James was picked up for another sexual assault charge from a different victim in 2014. His bond in the case involving Mujey was increased to $250,000 after her death.
Prior to be hired by the school district, James' criminal record included convictions for an armed robbery, and two counts of prisoner in possession of a weapon. But Superintendent Michael Zoerhoff said that James provided strong references from community members, and was "hired because he fit the qualifications for working as a groundskeeper."
The position did not include interaction with students. James met Mujey via social media over summer break through another student from Saginaw. He admitted to what he called consensual sex with Mujey at his home in Wyoming.
As a four-time felon, James awaits arraignment with bail now set at $500,000.