Person of interest in teen slaying denies connection to victim

Quinn James speaks via video from the Kent County jail on Feb. 10, 2018.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — On Saturday, the family of Mujey Dumbuya held the funeral for the beloved 16-year-old who wanted to become a police officer.

No one has been arrested for her homicide, but Quinn James — facing 25 years to life in prison for allegedly raping her — is a person of interest, police say.

24 Hour News 8 talked to Quinn James Saturday via video from the Kent County jail, where he has been for the last week.

He was on bond awaiting trial in April for the alleged rape last summer in which the girl claimed James had sex with her in multiple locations. James went missing after Dumbuya’s body was discovered in Kalamazoo, and was then arrested again and charged with another sexual assault from 2014.

He denies ever having met Dumbuya, despite the contention of police that he admitted to having “consensual” sex with her at least twice.

“It’s ridiculous. It makes no frickin’ sense… That’s what I have to say about that,” James said. “My condolences go out to her, my condolences go out to her family, but the bottom line is: I have nothing to do with that, I know nothing about it. That’s it.”

Police say he had sex with the girl after telling her, “there is something about you, I could stop, but I just can’t.”

James is accused of having sex with the girl in a car in the parking lot of Ridge Park Charter School.

In fact, the Kent County prosecutor had offered him a deal that would have had him pleading guilty to three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, but he would not have faced mandatory 25 years to life in prison as a fourth felony.

“I never had a relationship with Mujey Dumbuya,” James said. “You guys are reporting all these things that are not true. I sit here and I watch all your news reports and the things that you’re reporting are absolutely false.”

He says he had nothing to do with her death. He pointed out that he has not been charged in her homicide and has not even been questioned about it by police.

“They haven’t talked to me,” James said. “They have no reason to talk to me.”

He says the news reports about him are false.

“I know I’m sitting in jail, I know the news is bashing me, making me out to be a monster and I know that all the things you’re reporting are not true, that’s what I know,” James said. “I don’t have a story, I don’t have a story, but what you’re reporting is not true.”

He says he sympathizes with the girl’s family

“It’s sad,” James said. “What happened to her is sad, it’s tragic. They lost a child. I have three children. No one wants to bury their child.”

He said the focus on him is hampering justice.

“But you make it worse, the police make it worse when they’re spending so much time looking at me knowing I had nothing to do with it instead of finding the people that did it,” James said. “That’s not doing any justice for her family. Focus on finding whoever did what happened to her, because Quinn James had nothing to do with it.”

He says he is the victim here as well.

“My family is being attacked, my family is being harassed, my nieces and nephews — 10, 11 years old — can’t go to school because people are saying your uncle did this, your uncle did that but their uncle hasn’t done anything,” James said.

Quinn has not been charged in connection to Dumbuya’s slaying in any way.

He has, however been charged in a 2014 rape and assault, completely unrelated to this case. He also faces 25 years to life in that case.