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Court Date Delayed for Man Accused of Aggravated Sexual Battery against 12-year-old

Evans Baird jail intake photo.

The court date for a man accused of aggravated sexual battery against a 12-year-old was delayed last week. Thomas Evans Baird was set for a Jan. 3 court date, but his case was continued until Feb. 14 at 1 p.m.
The 79-year-old Baird was Westwood Junior High School’s band director for 30 years. He is the vice chairman of the Manchester Historical Zoning Society and is a member of the Manchester Steering Commission.
Baird, who was released from jail on a $10,000 bond, was ordered by Coffee County Judge Jere Ledsinger to stay away from people under the age of 18 and wear a GPS monitor as a part of his bond agreement.
According to a motion filed by the district attorney office, on December 9, 2018, Baird was found to be present at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Tullahoma where one of his alleged minor victims was present. Further, the State says that Baird knew or should have known that one or more of his victims would be present at the church as they are regular attendees. Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott says the man was confronted by church security. He refused to exit the sanctuary to speak with Tullahoma Police officers who had been called to deal with the situation. Tullahoma officers were forced to enter the sanctuary to confront Baird about being in the presence of children in the worship service.
In a separate incident on the same date (December 9, 2018), Baird allegedly attempted to contact one of the victims’ mothers, and she reported the incident to Manchester Police.
On December 17, Ledsinger ruled that attending church with minors in the audience was not a violation of his bond.