Ex-Tennessee teacher who fled with teen pleads guilty

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – An ex-Tennessee teacher who fled with a 15-year-old student last year and set off a 39-day nationwide manhunt has pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Tad Cummings pleaded guilty Thursday to obstruction of justice and crossing state lines to have sex with a minor.

The 51-year-old Cummins disappeared with the girl last March.

They were found in April at a remote forest cabin near Cecilville, California, following a tip to police.

Cummins had planned to take the girl to Mexico and took a boat from San Diego on a test run, according to federal court documents. He switched vehicle license plates twice, disabled his vehicle’s GPS system, used aliases, altered his appearance, paid only in cash and used back roads during his nearly six weeks on the run, according to the documents.

Authorities credit the caretaker of the remote northern California property for helping police find the girl and arrest her alleged abductor. The girl was found safe.

Cummins taught at Culleoka Unit School in Culleoka, south of Nashville. He was fired a day after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued an Amber Alert about the teen.

The Tennessee Board of Education revoked Cummins’ teaching license in July.

Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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