Federal Jury Convicts Dripping Springs Man of Making Threats to Kill Individuals on Fort Hood
In Waco today, a federal jury convicted a Dripping Springs man for allegedly making threats to kill individuals on Fort Hood in back in February announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.
Jurors found 29-year-old Thomas Anthony Chestnut, Jr., guilty of one count of threatening to assault or murder a uniformed service member and one count of interstate communications with threat to injure. Chestnut, who has remained in federal custody since being arrested by FBI agents on February 24, 2017, faces up to ten years in federal prison on the threaten-to-assault charge and up to five years in federal prison on the threatening- communications charge. Sentencing is scheduled for December 1, 2017, before U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman in Waco.
Testimony during the two-day trial revealed that on February 22, 2017, Chestnut made verbal threats when he called and spoke with a sergeant at the US Army 1st Calvary Division at Fort Hood. Chestnut threatened to go to Fort Hood, kill the sergeant, take hostages, start a mass killing spree and then kill himself if he was not allowed to speak with someone of rank. Chestnut then spoke with a major and advised that he was a former soldier wrongly accused of a crime and eventually released from prison in 2016. Chestnut further advised if he was unable to speak with a U.S. Army III Corps Commander or a Sergeant Major regarding back pay, or did not receive the money he believed was owed to him, that he planned to shoot soldiers on Fort Hood.
“Threats of this nature are taken seriously,” stated United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.
The FBI together with the U.S. Army Military Police Investigations at Fort Hood and the Hays County Sheriff’s Office conducted this investigation. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney/Active Duty U.S. Army Major Benjamin Hogan and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Blanton are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.