SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Michael Cummins pleaded guilty in Sumner County Wednesday morning to killing eight people in Westmoreland in 2019.
The now 30-year-old was facing 12 charges related to the murders, including that of his own parents and uncle.
Cummins was sentenced to eight life sentences without parole on eight charges of first-degree murder, 25 years for attempted first-degree murder, 10 years for vehicle theft and 11 months and 29 days for misdemeanor theft. He will serve 100% of the misdemeanor theft sentence, 35% of the vehicle theft sentence and 85% of the attempted first-degree murder charge.
His death penalty trial was postponed multiple times. It was initially set for 2020 but was pushed due to COVID-19 and then for multiple motions hearings.
On April 27, 2019, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) agents found four bodies and a woman who had suffered serious injuries at a home on Charles Brown Road. The only survivor was identified as Mary Hosale, Cummins’ grandmother. She has since passed away.
Later that day, police found a second crime scene about a mile away on Luby Brown Road. There, officers found the body of a fifth victim later identified as Shirley Fehrle. Investigators said Cummins stole her car and ditched it nearby.
The TBI labeled the five deaths as “homicides” and issued an alert, asking residents to be on the lookout for Cummins and naming him as a “person of interest” in the killings. The TBI also described him as “armed and very dangerous.” Cummins was later found hiding in a nearby creek bed with a hatchet. Officers shot Cummins in the leg, and he was taken to a hospital with serious injuries.
The TBI released the identities of the seven victims and their relationships to one another and to Cummins.
Victims found at the home on Charles Brown Road:
– David Cummins (51), suspect’s father
– Clara Cummins (44), suspect’s mother
– Charles Hosale (45), suspect’s uncle
– Rachel McGlothlin-Pee (43), Charles’ girlfriend
– Sapphire McGlothlin-Pee (12), Rachel’s daughter
– Marsha Nuckols (64), Rachel’s mother
Victim found at the home on Luby Brown Road:
– Shirley Fehrle (67), suspect’s neighbor
The State Medical Examiner’s Office announced all seven victims had died from “blunt force” trauma, while some had also suffered “sharp force” injuries.
A police report showed Fehrle “appeared to have blunt force trauma to her face as well as other injuries to her extremities.” A TBI spokesperson said it appeared the victims had been dead for at least one day when they were found.
Then, on May 10, 2019, News 2 obtained court documents that revealed an eighth victim, James Dunn Jr., had been found decapitated outside a burned cabin on Random Mandrell Road. According to an affidavit, his body had been found days before the other murders on April 17.
The murder was later linked to Cummins after Dunn’s rifle was found in the home on Charles Brown Road where investigators discovered the other victims.
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This is a developing story. WKRN News 2 will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.