Man indicted in mass shooting threat
A grand jury in Waco on Wednesday indicted a Dripping Springs man the Justice Department believes threatened a mass shooting at Fort Hood.
The indictment charges 28-year-old Thomas Anthony Chestnut with a count of interstate communications with threat to injure. He could face five years in prison if convicted.
Chestnut is accused of calling Fort Hood officials and telling a sergeant that he would go to the post, kill the sergeant, take hostages and commit a killing spree before taking his own life, a release from the U.S. attorney’s office said.
Chestnut then spoke to a major and said that he was a former soldier wrongly convicted of a crime who was released from prison last year. He told the officer the Army owed him back pay, and that if he did not receive the money, he would shoot soldiers at Fort Hood.
In June 2014, a military jury found Chestnut guilty of sexual assault. He was sentenced the next month to three years in prison, a reduction in rank to private, and a dishonorable discharge.
In an unsworn statement, Chestnut said he had sex with a man in his Fort Sam Houston barracks room in August 2012, the Killeen Daily Herald has previously reported. At the time, the man was taking the sedative Ambien. Chestnut said he didn’t know about the man’s sleeping medication and thought the sex was consensual.
Chestnut has a court hearing scheduled in Waco on March 22.
The sprawling military post has been the site of two mass shootings since 2009.
In 2009, a Fort Hood major set to deploy to Afghanistan shot and killed 13 people and wounded 32 others at a building where soldiers were processed before deployment. The shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan, was convicted and sentenced to death for the shooting.
In 2014, Spc. Ivan Lopez killed three people on the post before killing himself. The rampage left 16 injured.