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Virginia man sentenced to 42 months in prison for attempted revenge killing

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A Norfolk man was sentenced this week to 42 months in prison for helping his longtime partner flee and avoid apprehension after she attempted to kill a woman in Northeast Washington, D.C.

John Nelson McQuillen, 66, of Norfolk, pleaded guilty in April 2022, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to accessory after the fact to assault with intent to kill. Following his prison term, he will be placed on three years of supervised release. During that time, he is ordered to stay out of the District of Columbia.

According to the government’s evidence, McQuillen and his longtime partner, Tommie Lynn Dunmire, shared an adult son, who was murdered in Cleveland, Ohio, in March 2021.

Following their son’s murder, McQuillen and Dunmire became frustrated with the investigation of his death, and Dunmire began to conduct her own investigation.

On Nov. 5, 2021, McQuillen and Dunmire traveled by car from Norfolk to the a home in Northeast Washington, D.C. Dunmire had mistakenly identified the person responsible for their son’s murder, and McQuillen knew that Dunmire intended to harm this person.

The victim, a 30-year-old woman, was not involved in the homicide.

Surveillance video shows Dunmire, wearing a brown vest and brown baseball cap and carrying a cardboard box, knocked on the front door of the victim’s home at approximately 9:25 p.m. Dunmire announced herself as a UPS delivery person, stating that she had a package for the victim. When the victim opened the door, Dunmire fired two shots from a revolver that she was holding inside of an opening cut in the back of the carboard box. One shot struck the victim in the abdomen.

McQuillen then drove himself and Dunmire out of the area and changed the license plates on their vehicle.

The Metro Police Department stopped the vehicle soon thereafter in the 1400 block of Florida Avenue NE. During the stop, Dunmire reportedly shot herself, using the revolver that she had used to shoot the victim. She later died from the gunshot wound.

McQuillen was arrested in Virginia on March 11, 2022, and has been detained ever since.

The victim was transported to a hospital after the attack and survived the injuries.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.