According to some close acquaintances of Tad Cummins, the 50-year-old former teacher who disappeared with 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas, he’s a smart guy.
According to common sense, he’s an idiot.
Whichever one is truer, Tad may have made a big mistake right after his arrest if he hopes to get off easy in court.
According to the International Business Times, Tad’s wife Jill — currently seeking divorce — revealed in an interview with Inside Edition that Tad called her soon after his arrest.
Jill related, “I said, ‘Well, did you sleep with her?’ and he said, ‘Yes I did.’”
What Tad may have not realized is that many prison phone calls are recorded, and he was calling from a phone at a federal detention center in Sacramento, California.
Now prosecutors are working to get their hands on a recording of that conversation so they can slap a statutory rape charge on him.
In Tennessee, it doesn’t matter if Elizabeth gave consent to Tad. By law, since she is under 17, she cannot legally give that consent.
Legal analyst Nick Leonardo explained, “They are interviewing her and doing forensic analysis to see if they get evidence and get [Jill’s] side of the story, and from that side of the story, you could see more crimes charged in this case and submitted to the grand jury on down the road.”
Tad is already facing charges of felony “transporting a minor across state lines with the intent to engage in criminal sexuality activity” as well as two state charges of kidnapping and grooming.
If convicted of most or all of these charges, Tad could be put away for a very long time — even for life.
Tad disappeared from Tennessee with Elizabeth March 13 after losing his job as her health science teacher following a reported kiss between the two. He and Elizabeth were found in a remote California cabin after an intense nationwide manhunt.