A McCulloch County Jury deliberated for just over seven hours on Wednesday evening before returning a verdict of guilty
in the Michael Tarr Murder case.
Tarr, 42, was convicted of killing Jason Allan Cumbe on August 15, 2021, at the Cumbe residence at 1605 South Wall Street.
District Attorney Tonya Ahlschwede and Assistant District Attorney Nelson Barnes made the case for the state and Judson Woodley defended Tarr.
According to testimony, Tarr and Cumbe had issues with one another and expressed those through a series of text messages and through social media. Many of those issues involved Cumbe’s girlfriend Tiffany Villarreal. In her testimony, Villarreal stated that Tarr had been messaging her. She claimed those messages were flirting in nature and after Cumbe found out, that she asked Tarr to no longer contact her as she was in a relationship.
Villarreal said she and Cumbe had been at Walmart in Brady, the day before the homicide and a small altercation began between the two men. Around 4:00AM the following day, Tarr drove to the Cumbe house. Cumbe went out the back door to the side of the house and Villarreal testified that she later heard a gun shot. Cumbe was found laying partially underneath a pickup in the street and Tarr was standing near him.
At the time of his arrest, Tarr’s alcohol level was at .157 — nearly twice the legal limit of intoxication to operate a vehicle.
Dr. Suzanna Dana, a Forensic Pathologist, who onducted Cumbe’s autopsy testified the cause of Cumbe’s death was a gunshot wound to the neck. She also found a high level of methamphetamines and lower doses of amphetamines and opioids in Cumbe’s system at the time of his death.
The defense contended that Tarr only used his gun to defend himself. Tarr’s testimony was that Cumbe came to the drivers side of Tarr’s vehicle during those early morning hours and began beating him violently. The prosecution claimed that Cumbe had no markings on the outside or inside of his hands and those pieces of metal must have fallen out of a trash bin near the road and were never used by Cumbe.