Judge rules Tad Cummins a danger, orders him to be sent to Tennessee

(Vicki Behringer)

A California judge ruled Tad Cummins to be detained as a flight risk and a danger to the community at his initial court appearance Monday.

The former Maury County teacher is accused of kidnapping AMBER Alert subject Elizabeth Thomas from Columbia, Tenn. The pair were found by local authorities staying in a remote cabin in Siskiyou County, California.

Cummins, 50, entered the court room in an orange jail jumpsuit with at least one hand shackled to his waist. Cummins said little during the court proceeding. He declined to plead guilty to a federal charge of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in sexual activity across state lines.

If Cummins plead guilty Monday, the case would have stayed in Sacramento. The accused kidnapper also expressed that he wanted to go back to Tennessee to face charges.

A federal judge said Cummins will be transported back to the Volunteer State as soon as possible and could be facing more charges.

Cummins' federal charge carries a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison. He's also facing charges in Siskiyou County for kidnapping and possession of stolen property, as well as possible state charges in Tennessee for aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor.

Documents filed with the Eastern District of California court outline the former teacher's intention of taking his victim to Mexico.

Cummins will remain in federal custody during his pre-trial period. Once he's back in Tennessee, Cummins will have another preliminary hearing.

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