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Man accused of committing Tennessee's deadliest mass murder deemed fit for trial

Michael Cummins is accused of killing 8 people in Sumner County in April 2019. It's considered to be the largest killing in state history.

WESTMORELAND, Tenn. — Michael Cummins, the Sumner County man accused of killing more than half a dozen people in 2019, was deemed fit to stand trial Monday.

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 on or about April 26, 2019.

Cummins is also accused of killing two other people: Shirley Fehrle and Jim Dunn. Fehrle was found dead inside her Luby Brown Road home, before taking her car on or about April 25.

On or about April 17, Dunn was found near a home at 1260 Ransom Mandrell Road 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.

On April 27, 2019, authorities found six bodies inside a trailer on Charles Brown Road. The trailer belonged to Mary Sue Hosale, Cummins’ grandmother. The bodies were in several rooms inside the trailer and had signs of blunt force trauma. Mary Sue Hosale was taken to the hospital, where she later recovered.

Previous trials were rescheduled over the years as he underwent mental evaluations to determine his fitness for trial.

District Attorney Ray Whitely said after several medical professionals examined Cummins, they determined him fit to stand trial in April 2023. However, he added that Cummins will continue to undergo evaluations up until his trial date in April 2023.

Cummins will have an intellectual disability hearing on September 9, 2022, to determine if he is eligible to receive the death penalty due to his mental state. If he is deemed unfit to receive the death penalty, this does not rule out the possibility of life in prison.

Court officials said the murders were committed over several days. Since there are three different scenes, the defense says there should be three separate trials. But prosecutors argue all three locations are connected and should be tried as one.

The jury selection for the trial is on April 3, 2023, and the first day will be April 5, 2023, in Gallatin.

Cummins was indicted on the following charges:

  • Count 1: First-degree premeditated murder of James Foxx Dunn
  • Count 2: Theft of a rifle over $1,000 belonging to Dunn
  • Count 3: First-degree premeditated murder of Shirley B. Fehrle
  • Count 4: Felony murder during a theft of Fehrle
  • Count 5: Theft of a vehicle valued at over $10,000 belonging to Fehrle
  • Count 6: First-degree premeditated murder of David Carl Cummins, Michael Cummins’ father
  • Count 7: First-degree premeditated murder of Clara Jane Cummins, Michael Cummins’ mother
  • Count 8: First-degree premeditated murder of Charles Edward Hosale, Michael Cummins’ uncle
  • Count 9: First-degree premeditated murder of Marsha Elizabeth Nuckols, Rachel McGlothlin-Pee’s mother
  • Count 10: First-degree premeditated murder of Rachel McGlothlin-Pee, Charles Hosale’s girlfriend
  • Count 11: First-degree premeditated murder of Sapphire McGlothlin-Pee, Rachel McGlothlin-Pee’s daughter and Nuckols’ granddaughter
  • Count 12: Attempted first-degree premeditated murder of Mary Sue Hosale, Michael Cummins’ grandmother

In an order released Friday, Criminal Court Judge Dee David Gray said that Cummins would face a separate trial in the death of James Foxx Dunn and theft of a rifle from Dunn.

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