Blind man charged with killing sister, nephew

By: Mario Boone Email
By: Mario Boone Email
Authorities say an argument over stolen beer escalated into murder Sunday night when a 56 year-old man allegedly killed his sister and nephew.

Authorities in Cocke Co. arrest 56 year old Thomas McCusker and charge him with 2 counts of first degree murder.

COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- 56-year-old Thomas McCusker, who's blind, gets help from Cocke County sheriff's deputies into court where a judge read serious charges he's facing.

"The first charge is first degree murder. "Your second charge is also first degree murder," said the judge. The court had to repeat instructrions several times because McCusker is also hearing impaired.

Investigators say an argument over stolen beer led the man to snap, stabbing to death his sister Joanne Day, and her son Bobby Day.

"I couldn't state whether or not he has a criminal record, but I can state that there is a history, that our officers have been there to deal with him," said Sheriff Armando Fontes.

Detectives tell me McCusker suffered cuts to his hand and ear during the attacks, and already there's talk of an insanity defense.

"We'll have him evaluated mentally to see what his mental state is," said assistant public defender Keith Haas.

McCusker's 17-year-old neice witnessed the killings but wasn't harmed, according to deputies. "We've contacted family that's out of state and we're trying to meet the needs of this young lady," the sheriff said.

McCusker returns to court on March 30th. He's being held in lieu of $500,000 bond.


COSBY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Authorities say an argument over stolen beer Sunday night escalated into murder charges for a blind man in Cosby.

Thomas McCusker, 56, face two counts of first-degree murder following the deaths of his sister Joanne Day, 52, and his nephew Robert "Bobby" Day, 25.

According to police, the attack happened around 11:00 Sunday night in the families home on Roy Rd. in Cosby. McCusker is being held in the Cocke County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

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  • by Helen Location: New Market on Mar 29, 2011 at 06:19 PM
    Joanne was a big hearted lady, she would do anything for anyone. She will be missed.
  • by Heather Location: Gatlinburg on Mar 28, 2011 at 07:55 PM
    Thank you, WVLT-- you are the only local station that has not sought to slander the victims of this terrible crime.
  • by joe Location: sevierville on Mar 28, 2011 at 03:48 PM
    Need more info, piece of a story is like one potatoe chip-useless!
  • by MATT Location: KNOXVILLE on Mar 28, 2011 at 02:21 PM


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