Suspect in Westmoreland murders was on probation for setting fire to neighbor’s home

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“When I get out, I’ll finish the job.”

An arrest affidavit states Michael Cummins made the comment to law enforcement following his 2017 arrest for using a diaper and coupons, among other items, as a fuel source to light his neighbor’s home on fire.

Deputies with the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office responded around 5:30 a.m. on September 13, 2017 to a residence in the 1100 block of Charles Brown Road, where a woman reported her neighbor, Cummins, had set fire to her home and assaulted her.

The victim told deputies she was inside when she smelled smoke and went outside to locate and extinguish the flames.

She said Cummins, who appeared to be armed with a gun, shoved her to the ground and pulled her hair.

While the victim was on the phone with police, she said authorities were recording as she screamed for Cummins to stop.

He eventually ran toward his residence next door, investigators said.

According to the arrest affidavit, law enforcement determined a piece of plastic underpinning had been pulled away from the rear of the home, exposing the crawl space, where a section of insulation had been manipulated to allow flammable material to be stuffed between the insulation and subflooring.

The material reportedly included a diaper, newspaper, coupons and cigarette packs.

During a search of the home where Cummins lived, authorities said they found items consistent with those partially burned under the victim’s home.

Aside from stating that he would “finish the job,” deputies said Cummins also told them “if I get out of jail, I’ll go down there and do it again.”

Court documents show Cummins pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated arson and assault and was placed on ten years probation.

Cummins is the man suspected in the killings of seven people at two locations over the weekend in Westmoreland, including his parents, uncle and a 12-year-old girl.

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