GALLATIN, TN (WSMV) - Family members point fingers at the Sumner County District Attorney after a court hearing on Wednesday saying Michael Cummins should have been behind bars when the brutal murders occurred last month.

MUG - Michael Cummins - 5/10/19

Michael Cummins has been charged with six counts of first degree murder, one count of criminal homicide, one count of attempted first degree murder and one count of theft over $10,000. (Photo: TBI/Sumner County Sheriff's Office)

Cummins has been charged in the death of eight people near Westmoreland, the biggest mass murder Tennessee has seen in nearly 20 years.

“If someone had done their job, this man would not have been out to do any of this,” said Steven McGlothlin.

Cummins was convicted of arson and assault in 2017 after he set his neighbor’s house on fire.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison but was out on probation when the murders occurred.

“I feel Sumner County dropped the ball. This man shouldn’t have been out. He had an extensive record. They know he’s violent. They knew all of this,” said Steven McGlothlin.

A judge on Wednesday sentenced him to the remainder of those 10 years in prison.

In one case, police said Cummins ran out a back door when a probation officer arrived. That was 2-1/2 weeks before the slayings in Westmoreland.

“Why wasn’t something done? They just waiting and waiting and waited, and then here we are,” said Steven McGlothlin.

“There’s no sight like 20/20 hindsight, and everybody has 20/20 hindsight right now,” said Whitley. “If we’d known he was going to do this, nobody would have allowed him to be out. All the facts were presented to the judge and we did not drop the ball.

“You cannot predict human behavior.”

As witnesses went into the grisly details of the murders in court, there was an outburst in court.

The details were hard for family to hear during Wednesday’s court hearing.

Emotions ran high as a forensic scientist for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation recounted the first time she walked through the Charles Brown Road home finding bodies strewn around the house.

“I saw a foot sticking out from underneath a love seat. There were two victims right behind the bedroom door,” testified TBI forensic scientist Miranda Gaddes. “One victim you could see his feet on the bed, but he was covered with a comforter and really not see that victim, and the other victim we saw later on. There was a recliner turned over in that room and we could not see there was another victim under that recliner.”

Details about the way 12-year-old Sapphire McGlothlin-Pee was found sent her uncle over the edge.

“Little hard to take. Little hard to take,” Steven McGlothlin said after the hearing. “It’s bad enough the description of everything else, but with that, I just couldn’t keep quiet no longer.”

Steven McGlothlin was escorted out by court officers.

As testimony continued, his father, Sapphire’s grandfather, left as well.

“I’m still heartbroken. I have to sit down because I’m shaking all over,” said Virgil Nuckols, who was married to Marsha Nuckols, Sapphire’s grandmother.

Cummins is charged with killing Sapphire’s mother and grandmother as well.

“I’m the last one of my immediate family left,” said Steven McGlothlin. “I don’t believe the man deserves another breath on this earth.”

“I’m crippled. I’m disabled and now he took the most important thing away from me, my wife, my daughter and granddaughter, and I’m really hurt,” said Nuckols.

Cummins is accused of killing six people – David and Clara Cummins, Michael Cummins’ parents, Charles Hosale, his grandfather, Marsha Nuckols, Rachel McGlothlin-Pee and Sapphire McGlothlin-Pee – inside the Charles Brown Road home. Mary Sue Hosale, his grandmother, was found alive in the home.

Michael Cummins is accused of killing Shirley Fehrle, who was found dead inside her Luby Brown Road home, before taking her car.

A few days before Cummins is accused of killing Jim Dunn near a home at 1260 Ransom Mandrell Rd. that had been set on fire. Dunn’s body was found about 75 yards away from the burned cabin and Dunn’s head was found about 25 yards away from the torso.

When investigators revealed gruesome details about the bodies of his alleged victims during testimony, he rocked back and forth the entire time.

“That’s just him trying to play this insanity defense,” said Steven McGlothlin.

Cummins, charged in the brutal murders of eight appeared visibly affected by Wednesday’s testimony in open court. Family members accuse him of putting on a show.

“He didn’t do that in his probation hearing this morning. He was fine and dandy, nothing was going on,” said Steven McGlothlin. “And then once he gets in there it’s a dog and pony show.”

Cummins did remain still during the morning’s probation hearing.

The rocking began when he was wheeled into the second courtroom, where horrific details about the bodies of his alleged victims were divulged in court.

“He’s done that ever since we’ve seen him in this case,” said District Attorney General Ray Whitley. “He rocks back and forth until he gets interested in something, and then the rocking stops.”

Whitley said Cummins’ mental health will be a factor in whether they pursue the death penalty.

“Obviously it’s something we’ll have to consider very seriously because of the facts and circumstances,” Whitley said. “We have to wait until we determine what his mental state is and what the evidence is and fit that into the law and make a decision.”

“There’s got to be something wrong with you for you to be able to do something like that, but he knew very well what he was doing every minute of it,” said Steven McGlothlin.

Once investigators get through the remainder of the extensive forensic evidence in the case, the case will be presented to the Sumner County Grand Jury.

 

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Reporter

Rebecca Cardenas is a Murrow-award winning journalist who joined News4 as a reporter in September 2017. She currently covers the court systems in Middle Tennessee.

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