Former teacher Tad Cummins changes plea to guilty - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Former teacher Tad Cummins changes plea to guilty

Tad Cummins, center, sits with his attorneys in federal court. (Sketch: Mike Sowers) Tad Cummins, center, sits with his attorneys in federal court. (Sketch: Mike Sowers)
Tad Cummins (Source: Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office) Tad Cummins (Source: Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office)
Tad Cummins stands before the judge in federal court. (Sketch: Mike Sowers) Tad Cummins stands before the judge in federal court. (Sketch: Mike Sowers)
Tad Cummins is brought into a federal courtroom. (Sketch: Mike Sowers) Tad Cummins is brought into a federal courtroom. (Sketch: Mike Sowers)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Tad Cummins entered a plea of guilty to two counts involving the cross-country trip he took with a Maury County a 15-year-old high school student last year.

New details came out during a brief hearing in federal court this afternoon.

Cummins wrote a letter to his wife in July while he was in jail. He wrote “I am to blame for everything. But the devil was deeply involved.”


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Cummins admitted he took the student on a cross-country trip that began March 13, 2017. Along the way, they stole license plates in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Utah, Nevada and Oklahoma to avoid being caught.

The two bought a kayak in an attempt to paddle from California to Mexico but the water was too rough.

Cummins appeared in court shackled hand and foot, wearing a green striped prison jumpsuit and orange prison shoes.

He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison on the two charges, transporting a minor for sex and destroying evidence, and destroying both their cell phones.

“The Government has been ready and eager to try Mr. Cummins on the charges brought by the grand jury,” said U.S. Attorney Don Cochran. “In view of today’s development and Mr. Cummins’ decision to plead guilty, we are pleased that the victim no longer faces the possibility of enduring a lengthy trial.  We applaud the efforts of the FBI, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Maury County Sheriff’s Department and the many law enforcement agencies across the country that contributed to the search and ultimate rescue of the victim and the arrest of Mr. Cummins.  We now look forward to the sentencing of Mr. Cummins and bringing closure to this case.”

David Boling, a public information officer for the US Attorney’s office, said prosecutors are pleased that the plea will spare the victim and her family from going to trial. Cummins will be sentenced Sept. 26 at 2 p.m.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Key locations in the search for Tad Cummins


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