Judge finds probable cause in Westmoreland killings case; bound over to grand jury

Posted at 7:07 AM, May 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-29 20:29:05-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The man suspected in a killing spree made his first appearance in court Wednesday morning, where his case was bound over to the grand jury.

Michael Cummins is charged with murdering eight people, including his parents, last month in Westmoreland. His own grandmother was the only survivor.

Investigators said a family member found the bodies of six people who had been "brutally" killed in a home on Charles Brown Road. Cummins has also been linked to two other murders.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation called it the "deadliest homicide event in Tennessee in at least 20 years."

Cummins, who's still recovering from a gunshot wound that he received during his arrest, appeared in court in a wheelchair. He first went before Judge Dee Gay for a quick hearing on a probation violation that occurred before the murders. Cummins admitted he violated probation by not seeking court-ordered mental health treatment. Family members are upset he wasn't arrested for the violation sooner.

He also appeared in general sessions court for a preliminary hearing. One TBI agent testified that Cummins agreed to questioning at Skyline Hospital and admitted to wearing shoes that were found at the crime scene on Charles Brown Road.

Mary Sue Hosale, Cummins’ grandmother, was the sole survivor of the attack. When questioned by TBI agents at the hospital, she was unable to recall what happened as she was badly injured.

More gruesome details were shared later in the hearing. A forensic scientist said that 12-year-old Sapphire McGlothlin-Pee's body was found underneath a love seat next to multiple weapons. When the scientist went into details regarding the state of her body, McGlothlin-Pee's uncle Steve McGlothlin, got upset and had to leave the courtroom.

McGlothlin said, "Little hard to take."

It was also shared that another body at the scene appeared to have been dragged through the mobile home. The photos of the crime scene are graphic, so the judge plans on sealing them, which will make the photos unavailable to the public.

Michael Cummins was bobbing his head, staring blankly at people in the courtroom, and at times, rocking back and forth in his wheelchair. Family members were upset by his behavior.

McGlothlin said, "That's just him trying to play this insanity defense. He didn't do that in the probation hearing this morning. He was fine and dandy with nothing going on, and then once he get in there, it's the 'dog and pony show.'"

McGlothlin wants the district attorney to pursue the death penalty.

McGlothlin said, "We need to stop this, something has to be done to show people we cannot put up with things like this anymore."

Michael Cummins will be back in court later this summer.