The defense attorney for former teacher Tad Cummins filed a motion on Thursday, asking for an extension on Cummins’ upcoming federal court trial in Tennessee.
WHNT reports that Cummins, 50, wants his July 25 hearing extended to January 2018 so that his legal team will have enough time to research and prepare. The former high school health sciences teacher is accused of kidnapping his 15-year-old student, and taking her across state lines for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual activities.
According to Cummins’ lawyer, Dumaka Shabazz, the current trial date is unfair because it would deny him “reasonable time” to investigate the serious charges his client faces.
“In light of the serious nature of the charge, the ongoing plea discussions, and the need to conduct additional research and investigation, undersigned counsel submits that the interests of justice will be served by the granting of a continuance. Further, he submits that the denial of a continuance in the present case would deny him the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation, taking into account the exercise of due diligence.”
Meanwhile, the teen victim’s family is preparing to go to Cummins’ July trial, should a judge deny the extension request. Anthony Thomas, father of Elizabeth, opened up about the trial earlier this month and said it would likely be a “highly emotional” time for his family. Regardless, several members of Elizabeth’s family plan to be there to support her, although it’s still unclear whether she’ll testify or not.
“We’ve spoken many times as a family. [Going to court] is just something we’re going to have to go through,” Anthony Thomas said.
Check back with Crime Online as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation]