Tad Cummins Appears in Court for First Time

The 50-year-old Tennessee man accused of kidnapping a teenage girl appeared in a courtroom for the first time on Tuesday afternoon after being held in the Henderson County Detention Center since Monday.

The van arrived in Nashville on Tuesday morning with Tad Cummins. It's unclear if Cummins will be returned to the facility until his next hearing.

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

Cummins will 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.

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

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.

Cummins is charged with transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of criminal sexual intercourse.


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