Jury finds man guilty in Mujey Dumbuya murder

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A jury on Thursday found a man guilty of killing an East Kentwood High School student.

After a few hours of deliberation over two days, the jury found Quinn James guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Mujey Dumbuya.

“Your (Mujey’s) voice has been heard for the second time. She did not deserve this. She did not deserve this,” Mujey’s aunt, Jainya Sannoh, said after the verdict was read.

“Why, Quinn James?” she cried out in the courthouse hallway. “Why? Quinn James, why did you do this to this innocent girl?”

James was convicted last year of raping Dumbuya when she was 15 years old. She was set to testify against James in the sexual assault trial when she disappeared on Jan. 24, 2018 on her way to catch a bus to school. The 16-year-old girl’s body was found four days later about 50 miles away near a trail in Kalamazoo. A doctor said Mujey had been strangled.

“I’m never going to see my Mujey,” Sannoh said. “I’m never going to see my niece.”

The verdict came down after jurors listened to a week of testimony and evidence, including James’ DNA found on Mujey’s clothing untouched by the bleach poured on her body. Jury deliberations lasted about 90 minutes Wednesday before the judge ended the proceedings for the day. 

When deliberations resumed Thursday, jurors asked to look at photos of a car that was spotted on a trail camera the day Mujey went missing near where her body was found.

Police say James rented the vehicle. It was then washed, returned to the dealer and ultimately sold to someone in Zeeland, but Mujey’s blood was still found in two places on the seat.

“The truth is the truth,” Sannoh said. “It’s like putting a bright light in a dark room: whatever it is, it will come out.”

James is already serving 20 to 30 years in prison for sexually assaulting the girl. When he’s sentenced March 25 for the murder, he will be ordered to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

“I think that’s where he should be,” Mujey’s aunt said. “No other family, no other girl needs to go through this.”

—24 Hour News 8’s Heather Walker contributed to this report.

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