A 36-year-old Sterling man will spend the next 10 years in jail after pleading guilty to trying to hire a man to kill his ex-wife.
Dallas W. Brumback Jr. appeared in Loudoun County Circuit Court on Thursday for a sentencing hearing. He pleaded guilty in July to charges of attempted murder, four counts of felony child abuse and neglect, and two counts of distribution of a controlled substance as an accommodation.
According to evidence in the case, Brumback in November, 2014, made contact with an undercover law enforcement officer who said he knew someone willing kill his former wife, Lindsay, for a fee of $5,000. Brumback paid $900 toward that cost and met with the officer on subsequent occasions to plan the murder.
During the four-hour sentencing hearing, the county prosecutor argued the plot was racially motivated, portraying Brumback as a racist who held a post as an exalted Cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan and who objected to his former wife’s long-term relationship with a black man.
The defense argued the murder plot was hatched after Dallas Brumback became concerned that his daughter, with whom he shared custody with his ex-wife, had been sexually abused while in her care. He lost his bid to gain sole custody. A therapist’s investigation into whether their daughter’s behavioral changes were caused by sexual abuse was inconclusive.
The child abuse charges stem from the large number of firearms and large amount of ammunition found throughout Brumback’s home. He and his wife Kimberly have three preschool-age children. The weapons were used for hunting on their eight-acre property and were purchased as investments, Kimberly Brumback said.
In handing down his sentence, Circuit Court Judge Burke F. McCahill said the toxic nature of long-running disputes related to the Brumbacks’ divorce and child custody fights appeared to be the root cause of the murder ploy, although Dallas Brumback’s fringe religious views—he is the founder of a church that meets at his house—and his racial animus were contributing factors.
McCahill said Brumback assumed the worst about his ex-wife and then acted upon it. He handed down the maximum prison term envisioned under state sentencing guidelines—10 years and 11 months. Brumback has no prior criminal history, something McCahill noted was unusual in such cases. The judge also noted that county prosecutors opted for a lower maximum prison sentence when agreeing in the plea bargain to pursue attempted murder rather than a murder for hire charge. McCahill’s sentence carried eight years of suspended prison time plus 10 years of probation following his release.
McCahill also noted that, as a convicted felon, Brumback would be prohibited from owning or possessing firearms
Although Dallas Brumback will be behind bars for the next decade, Lindsay Brumback testified that she would remain in fear for her safety and that of her children. She said she has warned authorities for many years that her ex-husband would harm her, but got little support.
“At this point, I hope there is something that can be learned from my case to help others,” she said. “I’ll never have my life back and that’s all I’ve ever wanted since I left him.”
She said she fears her husband will attack her or have some else attack her some time in the future. “This is not the end by far.”