The boyfriend of slain East Kentwood High School student Mujey Dumbuya will be allowed to testify against the man who reportedly raped her several months before Dumbuya’s body was found in Kalamazoo, a judge ruled Friday.
The Kent County Prosecutor’s Office wants to get testimony from the teen on the record, citing fears for his well-being.
“We have one live witness and we are substantially concerned about his safety given what happened to the victim,’’ Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said.
Quinn James, 42, a former Kentwood schools maintenance worker, is facing trial for sexually assaulting Dumbuya last summer. He is also charged with raping a teenaged girl in an unrelated case from 2014.
Though James has not been identified as a suspect in Dumbuya’s death, his attorney says James is being unfairly treated like one.
“They said they’ve got the murderer in custody and that he’s implicated Mr. James and his fiancée,’’ defense attorney Jonathan Schildgen said.
Kent County Circuit Court Judge George Quist approved the request to send the sexual assault case back to Kentwood District Court to take testimony from 17-year-old Daquarius Daymont Bibbs.
Bibbs, identified as Dumbuya’s boyfriend, is being held as a material witness. Court records indicate he witnessed Dumbuya being raped by James and held her hand during the alleged assault.
James was charged with several counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving Dumbuya. He waived a probable cause hearing on the felony charges last fall, meaning no testimony was taken. Dumbuya, 16, went missing on Jan. 24; her body was found four days later in a wooded area in Kalamazoo.
“The government has been telling witnesses in this case, and I’m guessing in the alleged murder of this girl, that they’ve got Mr. James on video, in a rental car dumping the body down in Kalamazoo,’’ Schildgen said. “If that’s true, he should be charged.’’
Becker said the desire to get testimony from Bibbs has nothing to do with the murder probe. Schildgen, he said, “is mixing apples and oranges.’’
“This pertains to the (sexual assault) of a dead victim,’’ Becker said. “That’s the only thing we are focusing on. We have nothing to do with the murder case and we’re not going to add any charge regarding a murder case.’’
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