Following the capture of Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas, the former teacher's public defender is speaking out on his behalf. According to People, lawyer Benjamin Galloway is refuting claims that the 50-year-old Cummins coerced, forced or threatened 15-year-old Thomas into running away with him. He claims that Cummins has “no history of violence and no criminal history whatsoever.”
Galloway cites that Cummins surrendered after a month-long national search. Cummins and Thomas traveled from Tennesee to rural California before being caught in a remote cabin. "[Cummins] surrendered without incident and has been cooperative with investigators," said Galloway. "He looks forward to returning to Tennessee as soon as possible to answer the charges against him.”
Cummins faces multiple charges in California and Tennessee including one federal count of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in sexual activity across state lines. In court documents, prosecutors allege that the older man “planned and executed an audacious scheme to take a juvenile victim across the United States while evading law enforcement for the purposes of engaging in criminal sexual conduct.” They believe Cummins wanted to flee to Mexico with Thomas.
Cummins has not entered a plea.