Federal authorities revealed that a 16-year-old girl who had come forward saying she was raped by a man from Michigan was subsequently kidnapped and murdered by the man in an effort to disrupt her sexual assault trial. The tragic incident took place in 2017, and despite the girl’s death, legal proceedings persisted.
The accused, Quinn James, was convicted of multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct in 2018. However, in 2019, he faced further conviction on charges of first-degree murder, felony murder, and conspiracy to commit murder in the girl’s case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan stated that James had enlisted the help of Gerald Bennett, of Detroit, to facilitate the kidnapping and murder of the girl.
Interestingly, while both men were charged with murder in state court, the case against Bennett was dropped after he was found “not competent to stand trial.” Suspicions arose regarding Bennett’s competency, and after further investigation, he was arrested on a federal criminal complaint. A forensic psychologist concluded that Bennett had feigned incompetency, and a federal judge later ruled that he was, in fact, competent to stand trial. Subsequently, Bennett faced grave charges including conspiracy to commit murder for hire resulting in death.
Notably, Bennett was admitted to the hospital for treatment on November 7, but his health deteriorated rapidly and he passed away on November 13. This unfortunate turn of events meant that Bennett’s case would not be brought to court.
The devastating turn of events did not provide closure for the victim’s family. U.S. Attorney Mark Totten expressed his regret regarding the situation and emphasized the significance of achieving justice in the case. Bennett’s passing meant that the teeming evidence wouldn’t be presented in court, although efforts to secure justice were in progress. The gravity of the situation was underscored, with comparisons drawn to cases of people engaging in criminal activities fueled by greed and desperation.