State sends mental health evaluation to wrong court

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A mistake in court allowed an accused child kidnapper to continue avoiding justice.

Tavius Woods followed his mother into court Thursday morning to find out that there's been a setback with his case.

"I'm sure they are doing their best to get the report as quickly as possible," Woods' Attorney Blake Ballin said.

He says his client received a mental health evaluation from the state after he was indicted in February 2019 on an especially aggravated kidnapping charge.

Woods' case has been on hold because attorneys are waiting for the state's evaluation report. That will help determine if he's competent to stand trial or if he needs to be committed.

The state told WREG it submitted Woods' evaluation results on May 29, but due to an administrative error the report was sent to the incorrect court. They didn't find out about their mistake until Thursday's court appearance, but they assured us both parties now have the report.

"We're hopeful the eventual outcome is the charges will be dismissed," Ballin said.

Woods is accused of trying to kidnap a 10-year-old girl multiple times from Germanshire Elementary in April 2018. He was arrested shortly after, but a general sessions judge ruled Woods was incompetent to stand trial.

Prosecutors then took the case to a grand jury and hope for a different outcome.

The story seems all to familiar, though, for the victim's mother. She told us Woods was also arrested in 2014 after he sexually assaulted her other daughter at a daycare. A judged ruled him incompetent then.

He walked free, landed a cafeteria job at a Shelby County Elementary School and his charges were eventually expunged.


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