Tad Cummins will remain in custody as the case against him goes to a grand jury, federal Judge Barbara Holmes ruled Friday, saying he was both a flight risk and a danger to the community.
Authorities say Cummins, a former Columbia, Tenn., teacher, manipulated his former student, 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas, and spent 38 days on the run with her. An Amber Alert was issued, drawing national attention to the case before a citizen's tip led law enforcement agents to Cummins and Elizabeth in California.
At the two-hour hearing on Friday, Cummins, dressed in striped prison garb, remained silent until after the judge's ruling, but turned to mouth "I love you" to his two daughters, father and sister.
In brief comments outside the downtown Nashville courthouse, Cummins' attorney Dumaka Shabazz said his family does not condone Cummins' actions but still supports and loves him.
The hearing provided the first detailed day-by-day account of the cross-country trip that began March 13, when Cummins picked Thomas up from a Shoney’s restaurant in Columbia, Tenn.
FBI special agent Utley Noble testified about the sequence of events, culled from their investigation, store videos, motel receipts and Cummins' interviews with law enforcement.