Tad Cummins appears in Tennessee court for first time

Courtesy: Erin Plew

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tad Cummins, the 50-year-old Maury County man accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Thomas, appeared in a Tennessee courtroom for the first time Tuesday afternoon.

During the brief hearing, Cummins said he understood the charges against him and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Friday in Nashville.

He’ll be appointed an attorney.

Dressed in a gray and white striped jumpsuit, Cummins was shackled at both his hands and feet. He was seen smiling when his adult daughters and sisters walked into the courtroom.

Courtesy: Erin Plew

As he was leaving, Cummins said “I love you,” to his daughters.

His wife, Jill, who has filed for divorce, was not in attendance, nor was the Thomas family.

Cummins, who has been held in a jail in Henderson, Kentucky, since Monday afternoon, arrived in Nashville in a white van with blacked out windows Tuesday morning. He will return to the western Kentucky facility until at least Friday.

Cummins was arrested in northern California last month after a 38-day manhunt. He and 15-year-old Thomas were found staying at a small cabin in a remote area of the state.

Photo: WKRN

The former school teacher has been in federal custody since April 20 and Thomas has since been returned to Tennessee and reunited with her family.

He’s charged with transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of criminal sexual intercourse.

WKRN also went to Culleoka on Tuesday, where Cummins was a teacher. It’s a small town of about 5,000 people now in the national spotlight.

Two parents whose children were taught by Cummins said they’re ready for things to return to the way they were before.

“They have got her back home. I don’t want to say her name or anything, but they have got her back home with her family, and if he sentenced to anything or whatever, I hope he has time to think about what he has done,” said Amanda Cates, whose daughter was taught by the former Culleoka Unit School teacher.

“It is just messed up. For such a small town, and where we live, I think it took everyone for surprise. We weren’t expecting that, and getting all this national coverage is weird. We are such a small town; we don’t even have a red light,” added Ronald Cates.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s