Dripping Springs man who threatened Fort Hood killing spree found guilty

Thomas Chestnut (Mugshot via KWKT)
Thomas Chestnut (Mugshot via KWKT)

WACO, Texas (KXAN) — A Dripping Springs man who threatened to go on a killing spree in Fort Hood in February has been found guilty by a federal jury.

The jury found Thomas Anthony Chestnut, Jr., 29, guilty of threatening to assault or murder a uniformed service member and of interstate communications with threat to injure. He has not yet been sentenced, but the first charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison while the second comes with a maximum of five years.

He had been found competent to stand trial in July.

Chestnut called and spoke with a sergeant at Fort Hood on Feb. 22, when he “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,” according to a release from the United States Attorney’s Office.

When Chestnut spoke to a major, he told the man he was a former soldier wrongly accused of a crime who had been released from prison in 2016. He continued to threaten that if he did not receive back pay, he planned to shoot soldiers at Fort Hood, according to testimony in the case.

In June 2014, a military jury found Chestnut guilty for the sexual assault of a man on Fort Sam Houston. He was sentenced to three years in prison, a reduction in rank and a dishonorable discharge.

Chestnut said he was innocent, and told authorities he didn’t know the soldier was taking Ambien at the time and thought the interaction was consensual.

In January 2017, the Killeen Daily Herald reported the sexual assault conviction against Chestnut was reversed and his rank, back pay and personal property were restored to him.

Chestnut’s sentencing in the Fort Hood threat case is scheduled for Dec. 1.

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