WESTMORELAND, TN (WSMV) - People here said they wondered for almost a month how their neighbor Jim Dunn died. Now they know he was allegedly killed by the same person who is accused of taking seven other lives.
Adam Stafford said he knew Dunn for almost 20 years.
“He stayed to himself more,” Stafford said. “Real nice guy, never bothered anybody.”
Stafford said he was heartbroken when Dunn was found dead after his cabin caught fire on April 17.
Stafford said there was little information about how Jim died only rumors he may have been killed by Michael Cummins.
“He (Cummins) was trying to sell his (Dunn's) chainsaw, one of his shotguns and one of his rifles,” Stafford said.
Ten days after Dunn's death, and still no word on a cause of death, more heartbreak for Stafford.
“One of the nicest ladies you’ll ever meet,” Stafford said.
His neighbor, Shirley Fehrle, was killed along with six other people, and Cummins was the suspect.
“It hurts,” Stafford said. "It makes you mad to think about it.”
A month after Jim was found dead, some answers.
Cummins now sits in the Sumner County Jail. According to Cummins’ arrest warrants, he is accused of killing Dunn, Fehrle and six others by blunt force trauma to the head.
The warrant also said one of Jim’s rifles, possibly one Stafford said Cummins was trying to sell, was found at the main murder scene on Charles Brown Road.
“It’s a shame,” Stafford said. “It could have possibly been prevented.”
Stafford said even with Cummins behind bars his family is making it a habit to keep their doors locked.
“You never know now, it hit so close to home,” Stafford said. “It will take a while for the community to get past it. It’s hard. It’s going to be hard for everyone right now.”
It’s unclear if the Sheriff’s Office knew Cummins had or was trying to sell Dunn's items.
Cummins will have his first appearance in court on May 29.
Authorities have apprehended a 25-year-old Westmoreland man suspected of killing seven people and critically injuring another.