Hearing set for child kidnapping suspect in federal court

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) - US Attorney Beth Drake says a hearing for Thomas Lawton Evans Jr., 37, of Boiling Springs, SC, has been set for March 5 in federal court in Charleston, SC.

Evans has been charged with kidnapping a 4-year-old girl from St. John's Island.

Evans was arrested in Mississippi after beating the girl's mother, according to investigators.

Police say Evans was found sleeping in a car with the girl in the woods near a railroad track. 

The police chief says Evans handed him the child when he said they needed to go to the police station and sped off in his car.

He was captured after a chase.

The case is being investigated by Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and by the Charleston Police Department.

Thomas Lawton Evans was most recently convicted in 2010 when he was given 10 years for an armed robbery.

Evans then continued to get into serious trouble while behind bars.

Prison records show as recently as last December, Evans was disciplined for hostage taking and possession of a weapon.

His most recent assignment was supposed to be community supervision in Spartanburg.

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