Ex-soldier indicted for threatening mass shooting on Fort Hood

FORT HOOD - A federal grand jury in Waco indicted a Dripping Springs man Tuesday afternoon for allegedly threatening to kill people on Fort Hood back in February.

Thomas Anthony Chestnut, 28, was formally charged with one county of interstate communications with threat to injure. If convicted, he would face up to five years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Chestnut made verbal threats during a Feb. 22 phone call with a 1st Cavalry Division sergeant, who was based on post. Chestnut, investigators said, threatened to drive to Fort Hood, kill the sergeant, take hostages and start a mass killing spree before killing himself -- unless he was allowed to talk to someone of rank.

When Chestnut was put on the phone with a major, he explained he was a former soldier "wrongly accused of a crime and eventually released from prison in 2016," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a press release. Chestnut added if he was not allowed to speak with a Sergeant Major or III Corps Commander about getting back pay, he would start a shooting on Fort Hood.

The FBI arrested Chestnut two days later on Feb. 24, and he has been in federal custody ever since.

"Threats of this nature are taken seriously," U.S. Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr. said in a statement.

A detention hearing is scheduled in Waco on March 22.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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