A former soldier from Dripping Springs was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison Friday for threatening to launch a mass killing spree at Fort Hood in February.

A federal court jury in Waco convicted Thomas Anthony Chestnut Jr., 29, on one count of threatening to assault or murder a uniformed service member and one count of interstate communications with threat to injure after a trial in September.

Chestnut, who has remained in federal custody since his arrest Feb. 24, faced up to 10 years in federal prison on the first count and up to five years in prison on the second count.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman also ordered Chestnut to be placed on supervised release for three years after he completes his prison term.

Trial testimony revealed Chestnut made threats over the phone to a sergeant at Fort Hood on Feb. 22. 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 a ranking officer, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.

Chestnut told a major he was a former soldier who was wrongfully convicted of a crime and released from prison in 2016.

He said if he was not allowed to speak with a commander or a sergeant major concerning his claims for back pay or if he was not given the money he thinks was owed him, he was going to shoot soldiers at Fort Hood, according to court documents.

Staff writer at the Waco Tribune-Herald covering courts and criminal justice. Follow me on Twitter @TSpoonFeed.

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