NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A former Maury County teacher sentenced to 20 years in prison for kidnapping his 15-year-old student has been denied “compassionate release” after a federal judge called his appeal “a weak one.”
In a letter written to U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger earlier this year, Tad Cummins asked for “immediate release or release to home confinement under the CARES Act.” He 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 gastroesophageal reflux disease and am prescribed Omeprazole 20mg daily,” Cummins said in his appeal letter. Cummins also stated that he suffers from allergies and “a daily pain from an old neck fracture.”
In her ruling released Tuesday morning, Judge Trauger said “the defendant’s case for establishing extraordinary and compelling reasons for his immediate release is a weak one.”
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.
He pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and crossing state lines to have sex with a minor in 2018. Cummins was sentenced to 20 years in prison.