Suspect denies role in Dumbuya’s murder

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man police say helped Quinn James murder and dispose of the body of the 16-year-old girl he raped talked to 24 Hour News 8 from the jail where he is being held on charges that could put him away for the rest of his life. 

The suspect says that not only did he have nothing to do with the crime, but that he is the one who is the victim of a conspiracy.

Gerald Bennett, 58, spent several weeks in the Kent County Jail after being accused of lying about where he was and what he was doing in late January when Mujey Dumbuya went missing in from her bus stop in Kentwood before turning up dead days later in Kalamazoo.

Police say it was a 33-year-old used Chevy and $125 that convinced the Detroit native to help in the murder.

Two weeks ago, when he appeared in a Grand Rapids courtroom on a perjury charge, Bennett had this to say:

“I object to this hearing because my due process is not being honored, respected. The only thing I see now is being conniving of the law against me for a crime I didn’t commit,” Bennett said on March 28.

On Wednesday, Kent County Prosecutor Christopher Becker announced Bennett is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder as a fourth-felony offender.

Police say James likely gave Bennett they $125 and a 1985 Chevy Caprice for his cooperation. They say the car belonged to James’ fiancé, Tiara Burnett, who is also charged with perjury.

On Friday, Bennett said he does not know James or his alleged victim.

“I’m just getting caught up in something,” Bennett said Friday via video from the Kent County Jail. “I’m being used.”

Bennett says the state’s case is all lies.

“They gonna tell the truth the way they want to tell it — which is a lie,” Bennett said. “I don’t know what I can say to defend myself.” 

Although he is charged with conspiracy, Bennett sees himself as the victim.

“The judge and the prosecutor working together in a conspiracy — y’know, I don’t trust nobody right now.” 

When pressed for details, Bennett offered this explanation:

“I think this is a politician’s move. I don’t think they care about us, especially a black person,” he said angrily. “C’mon. This is a fraudulent case, this case ain’t real. I’m through.”

James will face trials for the rape and murder of the teen, a trial unlikely to come before the summer. Bennett will be tried for the perjury and conspiracy charges as a fourth-felony offender.

They both face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted as charged.

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