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Press Release

Virginia Man Pleads Guilty as Accessory After Fact to Attempted Revenge Killing in Northeast Washington

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant’s Longtime Partner Disguised Herself as UPS Driver, Shot Victim Twice

            WASHINGTON – John Nelson McQuillen, 65, of Norfolk, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to helping his longtime partner to flee and avoid apprehension after she attempted to kill a woman in Northeast Washington. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            McQuillen pleaded guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to accessory after the fact to assault with intent to kill. The Honorable Michael O’Keefe scheduled sentencing for June 24, 2022.

            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.  Over the ensuing months, McQuillen and Dunmire became frustrated with the investigation of their son’s death, and Dunmire began to conduct her own investigation. Dunmire’s mental state significantly deteriorated over this time.

            On Nov. 5, 2021, McQuillen and Dunmire traveled by car from Norfolk to the victim’s home in Northeast Washington. Dunmire had mistakenly identified the victim as responsible for their son’s murder, and McQuillen knew that Dunmire intended to harm this person. In fact, the victim, a 30-year-old woman, was not involved in any way in the homicide.

            Surveillance video shows Dunmire, wearing a brown vest and brown baseball cap and carrying a cardboard box, knocking 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 silver revolver that she was holding inside of an opening cut in the back of the carboard box. The two shots struck the victim in the abdomen. McQuillen then drove himself and Dunmire out of the area and changed the license plates on their vehicle. MPD officers stopped the vehicle soon thereafter in the 1400 block of Florida Avenue NE.

            During the stop, Dunmire shot herself, using the revolver that she had used to shoot the victim. She later died. The victim was transported to a hospital and survived the injuries.

            McQuillen was arrested in Virginia on March 11, 2022, and transported to Washington, D.C. on April 5, 2022, where he remains detained pending sentencing.

           In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee expressed appreciation for the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department and for the valuable assistance provided by the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office. They also acknowledged the efforts of those working on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles R. Jones, who is prosecuting the matter.

Updated April 29, 2022

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 22-123