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story.lead_photo.caption Robert Whittington

A retired Army veteran with a history of imprisonment for felony threats wants his wife to keep the 118 firearms or proceeds from the sale of them that were seized by federal agents in March from a Hooks, Texas, home.

Robert Dillard Whittington III, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and author of several books about guns, was convicted in 2011, in Bossier Parish, La., of the felony offense of terrorizing. As a convicted felon, Whittington, 78, is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition under state and federal laws.

According to court documents in the Louisiana case used to create the following account, Whittington pleaded guilty Jan. 3, 2011, to terrorizing and received a five-year term at a sentencing hearing March 9, 2011. Whittington posted a letter at a deer camp in Louisiana threatening to come after the camp's owner while in a deer stand. A threatening letter was also mailed to the camp owner's home.

Federal agents seized 118 guns and 20,908 rounds of various types of ammunition March 7 from Whittington's home on Avenue D in Hooks, Texas. Whittington pleaded guilty in October to both counts listed in an indictment charging him with possession of firearms by a felon and possession of ammunition by a felon in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Following Whittington's guilty plea, the government filed notice of its intent to seek Whittington's forfeiture of the firearm collection. Whittington's lawyer, David Crisp of Texarkana, recently filed a petition on behalf of Dorothy Whittington, Robert Whittington's wife, asking that she be allowed to keep the proceeds of a sale of the guns and that the funds will be deposited in an account over which she has sole control.

The petition states that Robert Whittington previously deeded his interest in the firearm collection to his wife. An affidavit signed by Dorothy Whittington and attached as an exhibit to the petition states that Robert Whittington told her he received a pardon from the governor of Louisiana after he served his five-year prison sentence for terrorizing and that she was unaware that it was illegal for Robert Whittington to reside in her Hooks, Texas, home where the guns were stored.

Dorothy Whittington's affidavit alleges she and Robert Whittington bought the firearms as an investment vehicle. Also attached as an exhibit is an alleged deed, handwritten and dated May 28, 1996, which conveys Robert Whittington's interest in the gun collection to Dorothy Whittington. However, the deed is dated March 29, 2018, and includes a statement that the original document was signed May 28, 1996. A copy of the alleged original deed is not included in the exhibits.

In a letter Robert Whittington mailed to the Gazette in June, he states that Dorothy Whittington is 10 years his senior and that they both are "running on overtime with life-support prescribed medication."

Robert Whittington states in the letter that he has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder since retiring from the military in 1982. Robert Whittington's letter states that he served two years in Vietnam.

Included with the letter is a copy of an "about the author" page from one of Whittington's books on firearms. The attached author page lists Whittington's educational and military experience and describes him as a "dedicated political activist against gun control and anti-gun proponents, especially anti-gun law enforcement personnel at all levels of government."

Robert Whittington alleges in the letter that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives illegally entered his home in March and seized the guns and ammunition. Approximately four months later, Whittington pleaded guilty in a Texarkana federal court.

A date for sentencing has not been set. U.S. Probation officials have filed notice that a pre-sentence report is complete, signalling that the case is nearing readiness for sentencing.