78-year-old felon pleads guilty to weapons crimes

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A 78-year-old man with a felony conviction for terrorizing pleaded guilty in Texarkana federal court Thursday to illegally possessing 118 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Robert D. Whittington III was indicted earlier this year for felon in possession of a firearm and felon in possession of ammunition in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas. Whittington appeared Thursday morning with Texarkana attorney David Crisp for a plea hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven.

According to Whittington’s indictment, he was convicted of felony terrorizing in 2011 in Louisiana and sentenced to five years in prison. Whittington posted threatening messages at a Lousiana deer camp promising to harm the camp’s owner while in a deer stand.

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Convicted felons are prohibited from possessing guns and ammunition. Records show Whittington is a retired U.S. Army colonel who has written books about firearms.

The government is seeking Whittington’s forfeiture of 118 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition which were seized when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms executed a search warrant at Whittington’s home March 7.

Whittington’s case will be scheduled for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III after a presentence report has been prepared for the court by federal officials. The report will contain a recommendation for punishment under federal sentencing guidelines.

Whittington faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine up to $250,000, or both. He is currently free on a $20,000 unsecured appearance bond.

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