A reputed gang member who last year topped a Florida most-wanted list after burning down his estranged Columbus girlfriend’s mobile home, trying to run over her and her child, and repeatedly stabbing a male friend of hers was back in Muscogee Superior Court today, four months after he pleaded guilty to the charges against him.
Tedrick Childs was trying to get his sentence changed because it included his completing a drug and mental health treatment program that will not accept him. He still is wanted on assault charges in Florida, which has placed a hold on him here in Columbus, and the program won’t take participants with pending criminal cases.
This created a quandary partly because authorities here believe the Florida case will be dismissed. Childs is accused of assaulting a male relative who does not want Childs prosecuted, they said. Sent to Florida, Childs might be released once the victim there testifies he wants the case dismissed.
Here in Muscogee County, Childs on June 11 was sentenced to serve a year in prison and spend 20 years on probation, plus compete the treatment program.
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That light sentence seemed to indicate Childs no longer was the imminent danger he was reported to be last year, when his assaults, arson and threats made his capture a priority for the U .S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, which called him a documented member of the Folk Nation gang.
He was wanted here for assault, burglary, terroristic threats and arson, all stemming from a confrontation with his estranged girlfriend on April 15, 2012, at Lot 111, 3400 St. Mary’s Road.
Columbus police said Childs, 32, stabbed a male friend of his former girlfriend multiple times in the buttocks. He got in his car and tried to run down the woman and her 2-year-old daughter, his own child. He threatened to kill the woman, the child and himself, investigators said.
Later he returned to the trailer park and set fire to the woman’s mobile home, destroying it, police said.
Columbus police and arson investigators learned Childs was from the Tallahassee area and may have fled to his native Florida, so they alerted authorities there.
On April 17, 2012, Florida’s fugitive task force announced it had captured Childs after tracking him to a relative’s home in Tallahassee’s Whispering Pines West neighborhood. Officers saw him leave the Rodrique Road residence in a vehicle about 1:45 p.m. that day, they said.
Childs, a passenger, ran when the task force surrounded the automobile. He did not get far, as officers reported catching him after a brief foot chase.
A U.S. Marshal said Childs’ capture likely prevented further violence, considering the Columbus assault and the threats he had made.
When extradited to Columbus, Childs faced charges of first-degree arson, aggravated assault, burglary, cruelty to children, terroristic threats, second-degree criminal damage to property and using a knife to commit a crime. He pleaded guilty before his June 11 sentencing.
In Allen’s court today, the mother of his child expressed no trepidation about facing Childs again. Asked whether she wanted Allen to order Childs to stay away from her and her child, she replied, “No. He can see his daughter. That’s fine.” The daughter is 3 years old now, she said.
“You’re not afraid of him?” Allen asked.
“No,” she replied.
Assistant District Attorney Jarrell Schley objected to amending Childs’ sentence, but Allen agreed with defense attorney Rachelle Hunter that Childs could not finish his original sentence without completing the treatment program, which he can’t get into because of the Florida case.
Muscogee County can’t hold Childs indefinitely, the judge said.
But Allen did not alter the sentence significantly: He resentenced Childs to serve 12 months as counted from his initial June 11 sentencing date, and then to remain on probation for 20 years. When released here, he is to face charges in Florida, and within two weeks of that case’s resolution, he is to enroll in a treatment program and complete it, Allen said.