NASHVILLE - Twenty days after he was arrested in a northern California forest at the culmination of a nationwide manhunt, Tad Cummins made his first court appearance in Tennessee on Tuesday.
Cummins shuffled into a federal courtroom in Nashville, his feet tethered by chains and carrying a few pieces of paper. He gave a tight-lipped smile to three family members seated in the second row, who returned the gesture with waves and blown kisses.
Per the request of federal prosecutors, Cummins will be held in custody until a Friday afternoon hearing. In that hearing, a federal judge will determine if there is probable cause to charge Cummins and whether he should remain in jail until trial.
Cummins, 50, is charged with a federal crime of knowingly transporting a minor in interstate commerce with the intent to engage in sexual activity. Authorities say Cummins manipulated his former student and left with her from Columbia, Tenn.
Cummins has not yet been indicted in the case, and could face additional charges.
Tad Cummins, the 50-year-old man charged in the kidnapping of a 15-year-old Middle Tennessee girl, is set to appear in court in Nashville on Tuesday, authorities said.
A hearing in the former Maury County high school teacher's case is set for 2 p.m. (central time) , a U.S. Marshal spokesman said.
Cummins was arrested on April 20 in California after a five-week, nationwide manhunt. Authorities allege he kidnapped his former student.
For weeks authorities worked to bring Cummins back to Tennessee to face the federal charges.
Cummins, who is facing charges in the Middle District of Tennessee, is being held at a Kentucky jail pending trial.
The teen was the subject of an Amber Alert after she went missing from Columbia, Tenn. She was found safe with Cummins in a northern California cabin.
Court documents say Cummins, who was the teen's former teacher, built a relationship with the girl and even threatened her, pressuring her to leave with him.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.