Court will hear testimony today in Exeter murder

By Reggie Ellis

The preliminary hearing for the Exeter man charged with killing his father while on drugs is at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 28 in Department 12 of the Tulare County Superior Court. At a hearing on Nov. 17, Judge Ron Couillard set the first date for testimony in the murder case against Edward Lee Cummings.

Cummings, 35, is being charged with the murder of his father, 62-year-old Carl Cummings, on July 28, 2003. He is also charged with illegally entering his father's home and for being under the influence of a controlled substance. Cummings plead not guilty at his arraignment on Aug. 1.

Carl, the father, died at the hospital following a physical altercation with his son about whether or not to sell a $10 videocassette recorder. The Exeter Police Department responded to Carl's residence, in the 400 block of North Orange Avenue, after receiving a call of a physical altercation between the father and son. When police arrived Edward had already fled on foot.

The altercation is estimated to have begun sometime between 4-5 p.m. when Edward began yelling at his son, 14-year-old Raymond, who was living with his grandparents. Carl asked Edward to leave, saying that he was on drugs. But Edward opened the door as Carl was attempting to close it and kicked his father who fell onto a couch. Carl had a history of heart problems. He was partially paralyzed in his left arm from a stroke a year earlier and used a cane to support himself when he walked.

Edward left the house and Shirley, Carl's wife, called 911. Emergency medical technicians attempted to revive Carl but he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Raymond witnessed his grandfather struggle for air and later his father taken into custody by police.

Cummings was wanted on six outstanding warrants. Five of those were for being under the influence of a controlled substance.

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