Man accused of kidnapping 4-year-old Johns Island girl waives preliminary hearing

Man accused of kidnapping 4-year-old Johns Island girl waives preliminary hearing
Thomas Evans waived a hearing before a bond judge Wednesday on 7 state charges in the Johns Island kidnapping on Mar. 7. (Source: Live 5)
Thomas Evans returns to the Al Cannon Detention Center after a federal court hearing. (Source: Live 5)
Thomas Evans returns to the Al Cannon Detention Center after a federal court hearing. (Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The man accused in the kidnapping of a 4-year-old Johns Island girl and the assault of her mother has waived a preliminary hearing in connection with his state charges.

Thomas Lawton Evans, 37, is charged with attempted murder, two counts of kidnapping, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, armed robbery, first-degree burglary and possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a violent crime in connection with the kidnapping in February.

The hearing was scheduled to happen next Wednesday.

A preliminary hearing is generally used to decide whether there is enough evidence to move forward toward sending the case to trial. Evans waiving the hearing means the case is automatically bound over for trial.

Affidavits filed in the case indicate Evans confessed to investigators after his arrest.

Evans is accused of keeping the victim captive for approximately an hour before fleeing the home with the 4-year-old and the victim's purse.

The woman told her daughter to run while the woman was being beaten, but Evans grabbed the child, the affidavit states.

Investigators were notified the victim's stolen debit card, which was in her purse, was used at a gas station in Greensboro, Georgia, approximately 20 hours after the kidnapping and assault was reported, an affidavit states.

Evans was arrested the following day in Mississippi after he fled the scene in Alabama when Heidi was rescued, according to investigators.

Detectives say the woman's vision was impaired by the assault but say she was able to pick Evans out of a photo lineup.

Court documents state Evans told investigators he used his girlfriend's car, a black Honda Civic, to go to Charleston.

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