Tad Cummins’ former defense attorney brought up numerous reasons why his client should remain free on bail during a pretrial release hearing in Nashville, but a federal judge decided that the evidence against the suspect outweighed the arguments made in his defense.
According to court documents filed on May 13, Cummins’ defense lawyer argued that his client, facing federal charges, wasn’t a flight risk, despite Cummins’ 38-day disappearance with a 15-year-old girl who he drove halfway across the country. The pair was found in Siskiyou County, California, in April, a little over 2,400 miles away from the teen girl’s Maury County, Tennessee, home.
“Mr. Cummins is indigent. His lack of financial resources means that he is without the economic power to flee the long heavy arm of law enforcement. While the government has argued that he evaded law enforcement on his sight-seeing tour of America, the complete lack of funds make fleeing almost impossible. At the beginning of his trip, Mr. Cummins had around $4,500 with which to travel. Now, his financial circumstances are dire. He has no money or credit cards for which to buy gas, food, clothing, or shelter.”
Further, the lawyer argued that Cummins’ strong family ties and roots to Tennessee would also ensure that the former teacher wouldn’t attempt to flee—again, despite the fact that he fled from his “Tennessee roots” without telling even one family member where he was.
“Mr. Cummins has always lived in Middle Tennessee. In fact, he has lived in the same house since the late 80’s. Mr. Cummins has never lived abroad or even in another state. All of his connections are in Middle Tennessee. He has no significant ties to any other state or country. He was born, raised, and lived most of his life in Middle Tennessee.”
Court documents claimed that Cummins was never a violent threat to the teen he allegedly abducted and that it was the child’s choice to leave her “broken home.”
“Mr. Cummins never employed violence, force, or threats. At no time was the alleged victim held at gun point, hit, or forcibly held. In fact, it appears that she desired to leave a broken home, and a school where she was a bullied outsider.”
Jason Whatley, attorney for the Thomas, found it incredulous that anyone would think or try to convince others that what Cummins reportedly did was not a crime.
“This is classic grooming and manipulation,” Whatley added. “And I predict this case will be studied years in the future about how authority figures like Tad Cummins can mess up young children who believe their lies and are manipulated into doing things they would never do.”
A federal judge ultimately rejected Cummins’ request to be released on bail. He’s being held without bond until his trial, charged with kidnapping, sexual contact with a minor, and “transportation of a minor across state lines for the purpose of having criminal sexual intercourse.” If convicted, he could face life in prison.
[Feature Photo: Instagram]