California judge orders Tad Cummins to remain detained as flight risk, danger to community

Tennessee teacher planned to take 15-year-old girl to Mexico

Sketch of Tad Cummins in a Sacramento, Calif. courtroom on April 24, 2017. (Courtesy: Vicki Behringer via KXTV-TV)

SACRAMENTO, Calif (WATE) – A federal judge ordered Tad Cummins to remain detained because he is a flight risk and danger to the community.

The former Maury County teacher is accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas and transporting her across the country to partake in criminal sexual activity. Cummins is expected to be transferred back to Tennessee, according to ABC 10.

Tad Cummins booking photo (source: Siskiyou County, Calif. Sheriff’s Office)

Prosecutors say Cummins planned to take Thomas south of the border to Mexico. They say he planned to get a small boat and do a test run to cross into Mexico across the water from San Diego. He also considered a land crossing.

Cummins started planning his escape after he was suspected of an improper relationship with Thomas in early 2017, according to prosecutors. They say he left Tennessee at a time when he knew he was the subject fo an investigation about engaging in improper sexual behavior with a juvenile victim because he had been interviewed multiple times by officials about his involvement with the victim.

He’s accused of traveling in disguise and using various techniques to avoid law enforcement, including taking back roads to travel through 9 states, disabling the GPS on his wife’s 2015 Nissan Rogue, and switching the license plate twice.

Cummins reportedly “made a number of damaging admissions to law enforcement that provide alarming inside his mentality,” the documents states.

The government notes there is surveillance video from various places Cummins and Thomas visited while crossing the country as well as evidence of the items he purchased, the items recovered by law enforcement, and his confession.

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