Two long winning streaks snapped in Grand Rapids basketball action

Two long winning streaks snapped in Grand Rapids basketball action
Michigan sex-assault trial to proceed despite girl’s death
nGRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (AP) – A former school-district maintenance worker accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl last summer still is expected to stand trial in Michigan despite her death, which is being investigated as a homicide.

Quinn James faces trial April 9 in Kent County Circuit Court on third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.

East Grand Rapids’ girls defeated OK Gold Conference leading South Christian 49-39, snapping the Sailors’ 11-game winning streak. The Sailors (9-1, 14-3) jumped out to a 15-7 first-quarter lead and led 27-26 at halftime. But the Pioneers (7-2, 14-3) went on a 13-4 third-quarter run to take control. “I’m just really proud of the girls, they did everything asked of them tonight,” EGR coach Troy Hammond said. “I thought the team was resilient and battled through the rough start when we were down 15-7. “(South Christian) Coach (Kim) Legge does such a good job with her group and I think that’s a team that could make a run in Class B in March.”Olivia Brown led the Pioneers with 18 points, while Amanda Grant had 12. Mariel Bruxvoort sparked South Christian with 13.South Christian has a one-game lead over EGR and Grand Rapids Christian with two to go. The game was the final for the Sailors at their gym on 68th Street. The Sailors, who have played in the gym since 1975, will be moving into a new one in the fall.

The partially clothed body of 16-year-old Mujey Dumbuya, the girl he's accused of assaulting, was found last month in a wooded area about 50 miles from her Grand Rapids home.

East Kentwood’s boys snapped West Ottawa’s 14-game winning streak with a stunning 56-53 victory on the Panthers’ home court. It was the second loss for the Panthers, who lost to Godwin Heights in their season opener.The Falcons’ Ja’moni Jones sank a 3-pointer near the half-court line at the buzzer to give East Kentwood the win. The Falcons improved to 7-9 overall and 4-4 in the Red.

►Related: 'This case cannot go cold,' murdered teen's family pleads for answers

East Grand Rapids’ Mickayla Ivy (22) and South Christian guard Mackenzie Selvius (11) fight for a rebound during a girls high school basketball game between the South Christian Sailor Ladies and East Grand Rapids Pioneers at South Christian High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. East Grand Rapids came out on top, 49-39. (Casey Sykes | MLive.com) 

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker says his office is "still going forward" with the sexual assault trial. Mujey's family last saw her alive on Jan. 24 as she headed off to East Kentwood High School in Kentwood, near Grand Rapids.

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East Grand Rapids’ Mary Schumar attempts to keep the ball inbounds during a girls high school basketball game between the South Christian Sailor Ladies and East Grand Rapids Pioneers at South Christian High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. East Grand Rapids came out on top, 49-39. (Casey Sykes | MLive.com) 

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East Kentwood’s Ja’moni Jones (3) dribbles the ball up the court during the boys basketball game between Muskegon and East Kentwood in the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame Holiday Basketball Classic at Reeths-Puffer High School in Muskegon, Mich. on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017. Muskegon defeated East Kentwood, 63-61. (Nic Antaya | MLive.com)

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MLive photographer was courtside shooting Tuesday’s big East Grand Rapids – South Christian game. Check out his photo gallery by clicking here.

DETROIT — A former school-district maintenance worker accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl last summer still is expected to stand trial in western Michigan despite her death, which is being investigated as a homicide.

A pair of long winning snaps were snapped Tuesday night in Grand Rapids area basketball action.

Quinn James, who was previously convicted of armed robbery, faces trial April 9 in Kent County Circuit Court on third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges. The partially clothed body of 16-year-old Mujey Dumbuya, the girl he’s accused of assaulting, was found last month in a wooded area about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from her Grand Rapids home.

“We’re still going forward” with the sexual assault trial, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Mujey’s family last saw her alive on Jan. 24 as she headed off to East Kentwood High School in Kentwood, near Grand Rapids. Passers-by found her body four days later in Kalamazoo, in southwestern Michigan.

The decision by Kentwood Public Schools, the district that Mujey attended, to hire James was discussed during a school board meeting Monday.

“Is that acceptable to our community values and best practices to have people with criminal records employed by the school?” a parent, Mary Bruce, asked.

It’s not clear when the 42-year-old James was hired. He was arrested in November and charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person age 13-15. He had been out on bond, but on Feb. 1 authorities in Kent County picked him up on a 2014 sexual assault charge unrelated to Mujey.

James told WOOD-TV in an interview Saturday from the Kent County Jail that he never met Mujey and that he had “nothing to do with” her death and knows “nothing about it.”

James’ public defender didn’t return a message to the AP seeking comment Tuesday.

Police have said James told investigators he had consensual sex with the girl on at least two occasions.

No arrests have been made in her death and James has not been charged in relation to that, Kalamazoo police Capt. Shannon Bagley told the AP.

Since Mujey’s death is an active investigation, Bagley was careful in releasing details of the case or directly connecting James to it.

“At this time, I’m not comfortable saying he is a person of interest,” Bagley said. “Of course, we are looking at everything right now. We just have a tremendous amount of information that we have to sift through.”

Kentwood Public Schools told parents, teachers and students at the high school about Mujey’s death in a Jan. 31 letter. On Thursday, the district released information about James’ employment, saying he was hired as a member of the grounds and maintenance crew. That letter also said that “none of his job responsibilities required contact with students.”

“Mr. James was hired because he fit the qualifications for working as a groundskeeper,” the letter said.

But “in the middle of November 2017, district leaders were made aware by a student and her family of an alleged assault that occurred during the summer months of 2017, when school was not in session,” the letter stated.

The district said it investigated the allegations and James was fired Nov. 30.

The district also said James did not meet the student “who was so tragically murdered” through his work duties at school, but came in contact with her during the summer.

Still, some question the hiring of James, whose criminal record includes a 1991 armed robbery conviction in Kent County, according to MLive.com.

Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 11:06 AM By: Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

LOS ANGELES — Police say a rollover crash in Los Angeles involving pro golfer Bill Haas and actor Luke Wilson has left one person dead and two injured. Haas was taken to the hospital and Wilson was not injured, according to KABC.

The Los Angeles Police Department said three cars were in the crash. A Ferrarri slammed into an oncoming BMW, which was driven by a 50-year-old woman. Haas was a passenger in the Ferrari when the driver of the vehicle lost control around 6:30 p.m. 

KTLA reported that the driver, identified by a coroner’s official as 71-year-old Mark Gibello, died at the scene of the crash.

Officer James Stoughton told The Associated Press Wilson was driving a third vehicle which was clipped by the Ferrari. 

Gibello, identified by officials Wednesday, was a member of a family Haas and his family were staying with while in town for the Genesis Open.  

“While Bill escaped serious injuries and has been released from the hospital, he is understandably shaken up and — more importantly — his deepest condolences go out to the host family during this tragic and difficult time,” Haas’ manager Allen Hobbs said in a statement, according to Golf Digest. “Bill will withdraw from the Genesis Open and plans to head home to Greenville to recover. He appreciates the support of friends, family and the golf world as a whole, and he has asked for privacy as he processes what has happened.”

Haas’ father, Jay Haas, told Golf Channel his son was released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md.  — A law enforcement officer was injured Wednesday in an incident at a secure entry gate to the National Security Agency’s headquarters in Maryland, according to multiple reports. One person was taken into custody.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Rescue crews in Charleston are desperately searching for a missing 4-year-old girl.

Overnight, a dive team and helicopter searched a lake in the John’s Island neighborhood where the little girl lives.

Heidi disappeared Tuesday and police were called to her neighborhood on Sweetleaf Lane just before 6 p.m.

Police have been looking for the girl since then, and neighbors also were out with flashlights trying to find her.

Police & fire are searching area of 2985 Sweetleaf Lane for missing 4 year-old Heidi Renae Todd. She was reported missing @ 5:50 pm All updates will be done via email to the media & through CPD’s Twitter account pic.twitter.com/MxvS7XPftj

Overnight, police suspended their search but plan to resume as soon as the sun rises.

WSOC’s sister station WCIV watched as crime scene tape roped off the area and a silver minivan was towed from the scene.

Police said Heidi might be with a thin, Hispanic male between 25 and 30 years old who has short hair and is dressed in all gray.

Charleston Police have setup a 24 hour tip line for citizens to report any information in the case of missing 4 year old Heidi Todd and a possible person of interest, a Hispanic male. Anyone with information can call 843 619 6123.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Four South Carolina state representatives are sponsoring legislation that would allow more prayer in public schools.

State Rep. Richie Yow, R-Chesterfield, said that one bill would let teachers conduct school-led prayer. Another would allow teachers to take part in student-led prayer.

“It’s saying that she has the right to participate just like the child does,” Yow said. “There’s no force in anything. All that it’s saying, is that a teacher has the right to be protected by her job and if that teacher wants to bless her food, or to say her prayers, she has that right.”The bills are in committee and haven’t been put up for a vote.

Critics say while the Supreme Court has ruled against school-led prayers in mandatory events like school assemblies, student-led prayers and faith-based student groups are already allowed.

A South Carolina resident said that he doesn’t see any issue with the bills.

“If my teacher, when I was in middle school, was praying at her desk or praying with a couple of students, and I was agnostic, atheist, Jewish whatever, not a part of her prayer, I don’t think I’d feel intimidated or uncomfortable,” Alan Patrick said.

Another resident said that it is a touchy issue and understands how others would not be on board.


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