TIMELINE: Investigation ongoing into Sumner County killings

Local News

News 2 has compiled a detailed timeline of the events surrounding the April 2019 murders of eight people in Sumner County.

Saturday, April 27, 2019: The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation responded to a home on Charles Brown Road where four bodies were located, along with a woman who had suffered serious injuries.

The woman was transported from the scene to a hospital in critical condition, authorities said.

Another body was located a short time later, about a mile away, at a residence on Luby Brown Road. Investigators said the victim’s vehicle was missing.

The TBI labeled the five deaths as “homicides” and issued an alert, asking residents to be on the lookout for Michael Cummins, naming the 25-year-old a “person of interest” in the killings and describing him as “armed and very dangerous.”

A manhunt for Cummins ended a few hours later when investigators said he was found hiding in a nearby creek bed.

At some point, the TBI stated Cummins pulled out at least one weapon and was shot in the leg by law enforcement.

Cummins was transported to a hospital with serious injuries.

Sunday, April 28, 2019: During its investigation, forensic scientists with the TBI located two additional bodies at the home on Charles Brown Road, bringing the total number of deaths to seven.

The agency began referring to Cummins as a “suspect” in the killings, rather than a “person of interest.”

As the community waited for official confirmation on the identities of the victims, dozens of people attended a service at Mt. Olive United Methodist Church to pray for the victims and their families.

Monday, April 29, 2019: The TBI held a news conference and released the identities of the seven victims and their relationships to one another and to Cummins.

Victims found at 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 home on Luby Brown Road:
Shirley Fehrle (67), unknown relationship to suspect

When asked if the victims had actually been killed Saturday, a TBI spokesperson stated that it appeared they had been dead for at least one day when they were discovered.

Court documents obtained by News 2 revealed Cummins had pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault and arson for setting his neighbor’s house on fire in 2017, then attacking her as she tried to put out the flames.

He was given ten years probation, the paperwork stated.

A police report showed one of the victims, Shirley Fehrle, killed at her home on Luby Brown Road “appeared to have blunt force trauma to her face as well as other injuries to her extremities.”

It also stated Cummins had stolen Fehrle’s vehicle after killing her, then ditched the vehicle in a creek.

A separate affidavit stated two witnesses who encountered Michael Cummins on the day the first bodies were discovered noticed he was wearing a white shirt with blood stains, but that Cummins claimed it was chocolate and told them “if anything goes down” he would get blamed and he was “saving a bullet for himself.”

Tuesday, April 30, 2019: Sumner County District Attorney, Ray Whitley, revealed a state probation officer was preparing to arrest Cummins on a probation violation, one day before the bodies of the first victims were discovered.

Whitley said the warrant had been prepared Friday, April 26 for Cummins’ arrest on a probation violation for failing to get a mental health evaluation and for violating a no-contact order with a neighbor whose house he set on fire in 2017.

The probation officer did not have a chance to get the warrant signed by a judge Friday, Whitley explained.

The warrant was issued Monday, April 29 and the judge ordered Cummins be held without bond.

Hours later, the State Medical Examiner’s Office announced all seven victims had died from “blunt force” trauma, while some had also suffered “sharp force” injuries, but no further details were released about the findings of the autopsies.

Thursday, May 2, 2019: More than 100 people gathered outside of Westmoreland Middle School for a prayer vigil to honor the lives lost.

Pastors and community leaders were in attendance, along with classmates of 12-year-old Sapphire McGlothlin-Pee, the youngest victim.

Friday, May 3, 2019: District Attorney Ray Whitley told News 2 that Cummins remained hospitalized with a “very serious injury” and would likely not be released and formally charged until Monday.

Friday, May 10, 2019: Cummins was released from the hospital and booked into the Sumner County jail on eight counts of murder.

Court documents revealed the eighth murder charge was connected to the death of Jim Dunn, found decapitated April 17 outside of a burned residence on Ransom Mandrell Road.

The paperwork stated Dunn’s rifle was found in the home on Charles Brown Road where multiple bodies were discovered on April 27 and 28.

Arrest affidavits said Cummins had been shot by law enforcement the night of his arrest because he had brandished a hatchet.

This timeline will be updated as the investigation continues.

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