A Tragic Twist in Tennessee Slayings Timeline

Warrant for Michael Cummins' arrest was being prepared the day before 7 bodies were found
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2019 3:11 PM CDT
Suspect in Slayings Was Maybe Within Days of Being Arrested
One of the two crime scenes at separate homes in rural Sumner County, Tenn.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

A tragic revelation in the killings of seven people in Tennessee's Sumner County: On Friday, the day before the bodies were found, a probation officer was preparing a warrant for suspect Michael Cummins' arrest. Cummins allegedly violated a no-contact order with a neighbor whose home he set on fire in 2017 and also allegedly violated his parole by refusing to get a required mental health evaluation. District Attorney Ray Whitley says the probation officer did not have a chance to get the warrant signed by a judge Friday, the Tennessean reports. Cummins had been jailed from Sept. 2017 until January of this year in the house fire case, in which he also assaulted the neighbor when she attempted to put the fire out. A plea agreement required him to serve 10 years of probation after his release.

He had been in compliance with that probation until April 10, when he left as officers arrived to do a home visit and then failed to report to an appointment April 12. A neighbor was among the seven killed, but, per NBC 5, not the same neighbor involved in the 2017 incident. The other victims were found at a separate location. Per Nashville Public Radio and other outlets, they were Cummins' parents and uncle; a woman whose relationship to Cummins was unknown and that woman's 12-year-old daughter and mother; and Cummins' grandmother, who survived but is still in critical condition. The state medical examiner says all seven who were killed died of blunt force trauma or sharp force injuries, WSMV reports. (Another "bizarre" family massacre in Ohio took two years to solve.)

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