Kentwood judge talks about bond set for Quinn James
KENTWOOD, Mich. —
A week after the I-Team uncovers a murdered teenager was slated to testify in a sexual assault case an exclusive interview with the judge who set the accused rapist's bond.
Quinn James made bail in November and, according to court documents, Mujey Dumbaya, 16, disappeared the day after a date was set for the sexual assault trial against him.
Newschannel 3's Rachel Glaser sat down with the judge about why he was granted a $100,000 bond.
The judge said at the time anyone who goes before him in court here is innocent until proven guilty, adding the judge's bench does not come with a crystal ball.
Dumbuya was murdered months before she was scheduled to testify against James, who she accused of rape and was released on a $100,000 bond in mid-November.
Kentwood District Court Judge William Kelly said, “Given the information I had at the time I thought that was an appropriate bound. Of course, in hindsight, I have more information and...”
Kelly says $100,000 is one of the higher bonds he's set in the 40 years he's been on the bench.
James faces a possible life sentence as a repeat, fourth time offender after he was arrested on four counts of sexually assaulting a child in November.
Kelly said, “I was surprise he that he had posted.”
Paying $10,000 to a Grand Rapids bail bondsmen who guaranteed the full amount if James didn't show up to court, he was released.
The Dumbuya family asked why the bond conditions did not require James wear an ankle monitor to track his whereabouts.
Kelly said, “We generally don't use electronic monitoring devices in purpose of the bond. Again, in retrospect.”
He says it would have been something to consider.
He did order James have no contact with Dumbuya.
Kelly said, “If K knew then, what I know now, yes, I would have done something differently.”
A convicted felon, James was deemed a safety risk in court papers.
Kelly said, “It's very sad what happened.”
He says he did not know James had been accused of rape in 2014 by another teenage girl.
Kelly said, “Somebody failed her. Somebody killed her.”
James' defense attorney, Jonathan Schildgen, says his office received a letter to notify a trial date had been set Jan. 24, the same day Dumbuya went missing.
However, Schildgen says his office would have mailed a letter to James to inform him the case was headed to trial. According to his defense attorney, James "had no idea" a trial date had been.
Dumbuya's family last saw the 16-year-old alive on Jan. 24, she was headed to the bus stop but never made to East Kentwood High School that day.
Her body was found Jan. 28 in a wooded area in Kalamazoo roughly 50 miles from her home.
James is now being held on a $500,000 bond at the Kent County Jail on one count of criminal sexual misconduct from a rape allegation that dates back to 2014.
Judge Kelly said he did not know another teenage girl had accused James of rape when setting bond in the case involving Dumbuya.
The Kalamazoo Public Safety Department continues to investigate Dumbuya's murder, not releasing any information about any possible suspects or James.
Searching for the teenager’s killer, Kalamazoo detectives are working to determined what happened in the four days Dumbuya was missing and how she ended up in Kalamazoo.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety at (269) 337-8994 or Silent Observer at (269) 343-2100 or report online at www.kalamazoosilentobserver.com