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Probation Officer Planned to Arrest Michael Cummins the Day Before He Killed 7 People

By Tiffany Meier

Just days after the mass killing in Tennessee, new evidence is surfacing about the suspected killer, Michael Cummins, and how his probation officer was planning on having him arrested the day before the murders.

On Saturday, April 27, Michael Cummins, 25, took the lives of seven people, including three family members, officials said, according to WTVF.

A 911 call from a family member led police to find the original four bodies as well as an injured person at the first home, police said. The injured victim was transported to the hospital. The victim remained hospitalized and in critical condition, according to WTVF. Meanwhile, another body was found at another home.

On Sunday, April 28, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations said in a statement that two more bodies were discovered at the first home, bringing the death toll up to seven.

“It’s unprecedented,” TBI Director David Rausch said, according to CBS News. “We’re talking about a mass killing. Thank goodness we don’t see this too often.”

The TBI believes the two scenes are related. The slayings were near the town of Westmoreland.

“This is one of the worst things I’ve ever been involved with in Sumner County,” Sumner County Sheriff Sonny Weatherford said during a press conference on Monday, April 29. “I’ve never seen anything that would even come close to this.”

On the same day, TBI identified the seven victims as David Carl Cummins and Clara Jane Cummins, the suspect’s parents; Charles Edward Hosale, his uncle; Rachel Dawn McGlothlin-Pee, whose relationship to him isn’t clear; Rachel’s 12-year-old daughter, Sapphire McGlothlin-Pee; and Rachel’s mother, Marsha Elizabeth Nuckols. Another victim, Shirley B. Fehrle, was found in a separate home and has no known relationship to Cummins, according to a statement released by TBI.

It has been called the “deadliest homicide event in Tennessee in at least 20 years” by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

On Saturday, a state law enforcement airplane helped authorities spot Cummins on the ground in a creek bed, TBI spokesman Josh Devine said in the statement. During the incident, one officer fired at Cummins as he emerged from the woods. Cummins was then taken to a hospital for treatment for what’s believed to be injuries that aren’t life-threatening, DeVine said.

Authorities have not released a possible motive for the murders or the causes of death.

However, a new report confirmed that the day before the murders, a probation officer was working on an arrest warrant for Cummins.

Cummins had reportedly failed to comply with the conditions of his probation, which required getting treated for mental health, according to WTVF.

Last Monday, April 22, a violation of probation affidavit was filed, according to District Attorney Ray Whitley. The probation officer was working to get the warrant finalized by Friday, but did not succeed.

The next day, Cummins reportedly committed the murders.

A Violent Past

According to court records, Cummins had a violent past.

Previously, Cummins was arrested for domestic incidents involving his relatives. In 2013, Cummins was charged with attempted assault after he reportedly caused a scene at his aunt’s home by throwing things around, according to the report.

Then in 2017, he allegedly assaulted his grandmother when she tried to stop him from stealing from his mother’s purse, reported the Tennessean.

However, according to a July 19, 2018, probation order signed by Circuit Judge Dee David Gay following the arson and attack, Cummins appeared to be a good probation candidate as opposed to a prison inmate, reported the Tennessean.

According to the probation order, Cummins was “not likely again to engage in a criminal course of conduct and that the ends of justice and the welfare of society do not require that the defendant shall presently suffer the penalty imposed by law by incarceration.”

The incident that broke the probation terms occurred in 2017 when he reportedly set fire to a neighbor’s home and then attacked her when she tried to put out the fire, according to court records obtained by the Tennessean.

He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault as well as attempted arson following the incident. At the time, following his arrest, he allegedly threatened the woman.

“When I get out, I’ll finish the job,” he said, according to the report.

When asked if the system could have prevented the crimes from happening, by arresting Cummins beforehand, District Attorney Whitley told WTVF, “You can’t predict human behavior.”