NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A former Maury County teacher sentenced to 20 years in prison for the 2017 kidnapping of his 15-year-old student wants to be released due to COVID-19 concerns.

In a letter written to federal judge Aleta Trauger, and provided to News 2, Tad Cummins asked for “immediate release or release to home confinement under the CARES Act.” Cummins also appealed to Trauger that he falls under the category “of individuals considered high risk of death from the COVID-19 virus.”

“I presently suffer from severe hypertension and am currently being treated with three daily medications: Lisinopril 40mg, Amlodipine 5mg, and Hydrochlorothiazide 25mg. I suffer from obesity, and the COVID-19 lockdown has completely derailed my effort to develop an exercise program to address this problem. I also suffer from gastroesophogeal reflux disease and am prescribed Omeprazole 20mg daily,” said Cummins in his appeal letter. Cummins also stated that he suffers from allergies and “a daily pain from an old neck fracture.”

Cummins says that he has not received any disciplinary infractions since being incarcerated and has worked the entire time in education as a tutor for GED and ESL classes. He also notes that he has been consistently attending Christian worship services during his incarceration.

Cummins says his medical issues “pose a clear and present danger” to his health and life and that these reasons in addition to his conduct behind bars should be taken into account for immediate release or release to serve in home confinement at his daughter’s house in Columbia.

On Friday, the court appointed the Federal Public Defender’s Office to determine whether Cummins is entitled to relief. If a motion for relief is filed, the government will respond in 14 days.

Cummins was a teacher at Culleoka Unit School in Maury County when he kidnapped his 15-year-old student, Elizabeth Thomas. They were the subject of a nationwide Amber Alert in 2017. After 38 days on the run, authorities found Cummins, along with Thomas, in a rustic cabin in Northern California.

Cummins pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and crossing state lines to have sex with a minor in 2018. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.