Former TN teacher, kidnapping suspect makes first court appearance


The Maury County man accused of kidnapping his former student appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon.

Tad Cummins entered Judge Barbara Holmes' courtroom in Nashville wearing a striped gray jumpsuit and leg shackles, according to our sister affiliate WSMV in Nashville.

Cummins' sister and two daughters were in the courtroom for this initial appearance. He arrived at the federal courthouse on Tuesday morning after being held in Henderson County, KY, overnight.

Tuesday's appearance advised Cummins of the charges he faces and what a conviction could carry. He is charged in the kidnapping of a 15-year-old Maury County girl, as well as sexual contact with a minor and transportation of a minor across state lines to have sexual intercourse.

If convicted, Cummins could face 10 years to life in prison.

Several people in the courtroom told Channel 4 they were happy to see Cummins have his day in court.

"I think that it provides relief for everybody that's been involved, and not just myself, but the community as well," said Rachel Irby with the Unchained Movement victims' rights group. "We've seen a lot happen and transpire over the last few months and it's been a little bit of a whirlwind, but now, once we can get through this, that's when true healing will begin and that's hopefully when we will see justice done."

Cummins has a court-appointed attorney, federal public defender Marcus Shabazz, who decline an on-camera interview on Tuesday.

A detention and preliminary hearing has been set for Friday at 1 p.m.

Cummins, a former teacher at Culleoka Unit School, was arrested last month in California after a nationwide search that lasted five weeks.

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