GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A man previously found incompetent has been ordered to stand trial on a kidnapping charge in the abduction of a 16-year-old who was killed in 2018, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
A U.S. Bureau of Prisons forensic psychologist found evidence to suggest Gerald Bennett, 63, of Detroit, was faking symptoms so he could be found incompetent to stand trial, so U.S. Magistrate Judge Ray Kent ordered Bennett to stand trial on a charge of kidnapping a minor, U.S. Attorney Mark Totten said.
The partially clothed body of Mujey Dumbuya was found in January 2018 in woods in Kalamazoo, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of her Grand Rapids home. She had been strangled. Bennett hasn’t been charged with killing her.
After Bennett initially was found incompetent to stand trial, state charges against him were dismissed and he was freed in March 2022, Totten said. The case then was referred to the FBI and federal prosecutors, and a federal grand jury indicted him last August.
If convicted, Bennett faces a minimum term of 20 years and a maximum of life in prison, Totten said.
A telephone message seeking comment was left Tuesday evening for Bennett’s attorney.
A co-defendant, Quinn James, was convicted of killing Dumbaya and sentenced to life in prison without parole, Totten said.
Dumbaya was supposed to testify at trial in April 2018 that James had sexually assaulted her.