Brumley bumbles court sentencing; missed opportunity could cost him 15 years

Contributed Photo/Courtesy of GCSO: David Paul Brumley, 20, was taken back into custody Monday after he arrived late for his sentencing on a charge of attempted molestation of a child.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – With a Class-3 felony sentencing hanging over his head, David Paul Brumley, 20, “forgot” he was being sentenced Monday and had to be called into the Graham County Superior Court. 

Arriving 39 minutes after his scheduled start time, Brumley made it there just in time to hear Graham County Superior Court Judge Michael D. Peterson order him taken into custody and held on a $250,000 cash-only bond. 

“He’s looking at incredibly serious charges here,” Judge Peterson said roughly five minutes into the hearing. “And shame on him for not being here. I don’t know what else to say. He’s not here.”

In May 2018, Brumley signed a plea agreement and plead no contest to one count of attempted molestation of a child and guilty to a second count as well.

The agreement dropped additional charges of sexual conduct with a minor, molestation of a child, and sexual abuse. 

The case stems from the accusation of at least two separate incidents that reportedly occurred between April 30, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2017, with a male relative who was under the age of 10 at the time and when Brumley was 16 and 17. (Young man with troubled past charged with child molestation: Gila Herald, April 2, 2018)

According to his plea agreement, Brumley would serve a period of not less than 180 days and not more than 365 days in jail on the first count of attempted molestation of a child and would then be placed on supervised lifetime sex offender probation for at least 10 years. He was initially sentenced to jail in June 2018. 

The second count’s sentencing was deferred until Monday, Aug. 26, to see if he had been successful on sex offender probation. If he had been successful, Brumley could have simply received an additional probation term. However, if he was deemed not successful, or if he did not receive a positive recommendation from the probation department, he could face a prison term between 5 to 15 years, with the presumptive term being 10 years. 

During Monday’s hearing, Judge Peterson was informed by probation that Brumley had tested positive for methamphetamine use three times, July 23, Aug. 16, and Aug. 20. 

The news of the dirty urine analysis concerned Graham County Chief Deputy County Attorney L. Scott Bennett, who then requested Brumley be taken into custody upon his arrival for court. 

“He can’t be successful on sex offender (probation) if he’s using meth,” Bennett said.

Bennett recommended giving the probation department time to prepare a pre-sentencing report and recommendation prior to giving his sentencing request at a subsequent hearing.

“I got a real problem with someone doing sex offender treatment and using methamphetamine,” Bennett said. ”I just don’t see the two being consistent with each other. So, I’d really like to get something from probation so I have some guidance on how serious his problem is, how can it be addressed, and if it is even possible to address it. What I don’t want is a defendant who has cloudy judgment based on the use of meth who starts perpetrating again. Because if that’s the case, I’m not going to bat an eye to send him to prison for as long as we can.” 

“This is a disappointing development for sure,” Judge Peterson said. 

“Mr. Brumley is a profoundly disturbed individual. I don’t know whether or not he is capable of compliance.”

Bennett requested Brumley be taken into custody and submit to a urine analysis that day. He then requested another sentencing hearing be set after analyzing the drug test results and reviewing information from the probation department. 

Judge Peterson ordered Brumley to be taken into custody and to produce a urine specimen for testing. He set Brumley’s next court appearance as a review hearing and sentencing for Sept. 5 at 8:30 a.m.  

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