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Person of interest in Kentwood teen's killing was a former employee of her school district

James Anthony Quinn,  in jail on rape charges, is a person of interest in the killing of a Grand Rapids teen girl. (WWMT/Contributed)

Quinn Anthony James, a person of interest in the killing of a Grand Rapids teen girl, worked in the Kentwood Public School System where she was a student.

Court documents show that he had been employed as a maintenance and grounds worker for the school district when he was accused of rape.

Kentwood schools Superintendent Michael Zoerhoff said James was hired in 2011, and also worked as a paperwork shuttle driver. However, Zoerhoff said, James had little contact with students, and none as part of his job responsibilities. Zoerhoff said James has not worked as a high school custodian since May of 2016.

In a written statement, the superintendent confirmed that James was fired after district leaders became aware of the charges.

“The district took immediate action to investigate, interview and subsequently terminate the employment of Mr. James,” school leaders said in the statement. “His failure to be forthcoming around the assault charges, and acts of misconduct violating board and district policies and state laws, led to his dismissal."

Zoehroff also said the location of the assault was off school property and when class was not in session.

James is being held in the Kent County Jail, arrested Feb. 2 on an unrelated 2014 rape charge. Kent County Sheriff's Office Lt. Kevin Kelley told Newschannel 3, the department submitted charges to the prosecutor's office against Quinn in 2014, but they were denied.

We reached out to the Kent County Prosecutor's Office as to why charges were recently authorized, but have not received a response.

James was convicted of armed robbery in 1991 and served time in prison. In 2003, James was convicted of two counts of attempted prisoner possession of weapons.


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