Accused Walmart child snatcher waives first court appearance - CBS46 News

Accused Walmart child snatcher waives first court appearance

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© Thomas Wood's mug shot from Haralson County Jail © Thomas Wood's mug shot from Haralson County Jail
© Brittany Baxter with her parents © Brittany Baxter with her parents

The man accused of attempting to kidnap a 7-year-old girl from a Bremen Walmart waived his first court appearance Friday.

Thomas Woods, 25, is charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, cruelty to children, simple assault, possession of marijuana less than an ounce and driving on a suspended license.

The store surveillance video catching the attempted abduction made national headlines Thursday.

Brittney Baxter said she was looking at toys in the store Wednesday when a man tried to kidnap her.

"I was kicking and screaming, and then he put his hand over my mouth, but I kept kicking," Brittney said.

Surveillance footage shows the man walking through the store. He walks out of the camera's view, but then rushes back through with the girl in his arms. When she starts kicking, he puts her down and runs away.

Authorities arrested Woods after a state patrolman pulled him over on U.S. 78 in Tallapoosa in a car matching the description of the suspect's car.

Brittney Baxter said she's thankful her parents and teachers taught her how to fight off a stranger.

"They always tell me to scream, kick, and then get away and go tell somebody that you trust," she said.

Brittney's mother said she was shocked that this could happen in her small town.

"I don't know what would've happened if she hadn't been kicking and screaming so that everybody knew something was wrong," Georgeann Baxter said.

CBS Atlanta News has learned that Woods served time in prison for a DeKalb County manslaughter conviction.  According to court records, Woods struck a plea deal on the 2004 killing of his uncle, James Price. Woods shot Price in the head, according to court documents.

Woods was released from prison after serving seven years of his 20-year sentence.

As police escorted a handcuffed Woods after his arrest Wednesday, he told reporters he's innocent.

"I didn't touch anybody," said Woods. "I didn't bother nobody. I was never there."

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