In Waco, a federal grand jury yesterday afternoon indicted a Dripping Springs man for allegedly making threats to kill individuals on Fort Hood last month.
The indictment charges 28-year-old Thomas Anthony Chestnut with one count of interstate communications with threat to injure. Upon conviction, Chestnut faces up to five years in federal prison. The announcement came from United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.
According to court records, 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 was found guilty by a military jury in June 2014 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 maintained his innocence, saying 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 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.
FBI agents arrested Chestnut without incident on February 24, 2017. He has remained in federal custody since. A detention hearing for Chestnut is scheduled for 1:30pm on March 22, 2017, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey C. Manske in Waco.
This investigation is being conducted by the FBI together with the U.S. Army Military Police Investigations at Fort Hood and the Hays County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Gloff and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney/Active Duty U.S. Army Captain J. Patrick Robinson are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.