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Man accused of trying to kidnap siblings to be released from custody

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tavius Woods, the man recently arrested for trying to kidnap two sisters, was was ordered to be released on his own recognizance by a judge.

Woods was accused of trying to kidnap a 10-year-old girl from Germanshire Elementary and her older sister from Power Center Academy. Both incidents happened around the end of April.

Woods is only facing charges from the Germanshire Elementary incident.

Woods' attorney, Blake Ballin, said jail is not the place for someone with Woods' disabilities. Woods' mother has said previously her son is autistic and has Down Syndrome.

"Get someone with his disabilities out of jail. Jail is not where he needs to be," Ballin said. "Holding him there is making things worse not only for him but the community. Getting him out and getting him the treatment he needs is the direction we are going."

The principal at Power Center Academy on Winchester Road told police a man called the school pretending to be a parent and asked to pick up a 14-year-old female student.

Staff called her mother, who claimed the same thing had just happened to her 10-year-old daughter a few miles away at Germanshire Elementary. In the younger child's case, Woods reportedly tried to pick her up twice.

To make matters worse, the mother said this all started back in 2013 at an after-school daycare where Woods worked. That's where he allegedly tried to sexually assault the older daughter.

“She said he reached between her legs and told her ‘let’s have sex.’ She told him no,” said the mother.

She said in 2014, Woods was charged with solicitation of a minor and aggravated sexual battery, but the charges were expunged from his record after a judge ruled he was incompetent to stand trial.

In 2016, Woods landed a job in the cafeteria at Oakshire Elementary.

In the most recent case, Woods' attorney Blake Ballin asked a court to once again evaluate his client's competency. That evaluation may be discussed at his next court appearance on June 4.

Ballin said the mental evaluation is still going on.

"As you heard the judge say based on his disabilities, everything points to he doesn’t have the ability to carry out these acts," Ballin said.

Woods' mother, Terry Curry, was pleased with her son's release

"I am so thankful some of the truth is coming to light," Curry said. "There’s a lot men caught up in this because of us, women who do a lot of this lying."

But Briana Jones, mother of the alleged victims, was infuriated, saying her children still wake up at night screaming.

"My kids are walking on pins and needles," Jones said.  "Can’t nobody told me I’m not over the case. Told me I can’t get a lawyer because it’s in the state’s hands. Told me they’re sorry for this and sorry for that. Ya’ll aren’t in my shoes."


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