WESTMORELAND, Tenn. (WKRN) — Life or death — that is the question for the man accused of eight gruesome killings in Westmoreland in 2019. 

Michael Cummins’ mental state remained the center of discussion on day two of testimony in the motion hearing in a Sumner County courtroom.

Court adjourned earlier than expected on Friday, Jan. 20 following reports of Cummins becoming agitated and anxious. This comes after a day of experts analyzing his test scores and upbringing, painting a picture of poverty, physical abuse, substance abuse and struggles with a long list of disorders.

Judge Gay questioned how much the issues should play a role in determining if Cummins meets the criteria for intellectual disability, which would keep the state from seeking the death penalty. 

“I’m not used to dealing with situations that aren’t black and white, and this is a lot of gray. So, that’s a little bit of my frustration here and there’s just so much to consider and there’s so much at stake,” the judge explained to the court.

Both sides called expert witnesses to the stand, each contradicting one another as to if Cummins meets the criteria for execution. 

⏩ Read today’s top stories on wkrn.com

Court will resume with the state’s psychology expert Saturday, Jan. 21.