Death penalty sought for Tennessee man accused of killing 8

Associated Press • Updated Aug 8, 2019 at 3:18 PM

GALLATIN — The state says it will seek the death penalty in its case against a Tennessee man charged with killing eight people.

Sumner County District Ray Whitley confirmed a grand jury returned a 12-count indictment Thursday against 25-year-old Michael Cummins. Whitley filed a notice to seek the death penalty.

Cummins is charged with killing his parents, uncle and a 12-year-old girl in rural Westmoreland in April. Six bodies were found at one home, and two more elsewhere. Affidavits say the victims died from blunt-force head injuries.

At the time, Cummins was close to being arrested for probation violations. He was on probation after serving just 16 months of a 10-year sentence on a conviction for attempting to burn down a neighbor’s house and assaulting her when she tried to put out the fire.

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