DOJ: Detroit man accused in Kentwood teen's death tried to have witness killed

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Posted at 3:51 PM, Jun 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-07 16:07:34-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Detroit man accused of killing a teen is facing additional charges for allegedly plotting to murder a potential witness.

The defendant, 63-year-old Gerald Bennett, was issued a superseding indictment by a federal grand jury a month and a half after being found competent to stand trial in a 2018 kidnapping case, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office – Western District of Michigan.

The indictment alleges Quinn James hired Bennett to kill 16-year-old Mujey Dumbuya, who was kidnapped and murdered in 2018.

James was convicted for the teen's murder in February 2019.

READ MORE: Quinn James found guilty of murder

While awaiting the results of a competency evaluation, Bennett reportedly tried to convince a fellow inmate to kill a potential witness, the indictment claims. Bennett allegedly told the inmate he planned to falsify his competency examination to allow enough time for the inmate to be released and murder the witness for him.

“The allegations in this case are tragic, grave, and compelling,” says U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “My thoughts are very much with the victim’s family and my office looks forward to presenting the evidence against Mr. Bennett at a fair trial.”

We’re told Bennett now faces the following charges:

  • Conspiracy to commit murder for hire
  • Kidnapping resulting in death
  • Kidnapping a minor
  • Soliciting violence

If found guilty of the first two charges, Bennett will be given a mandatory life sentence, federal attorneys say.