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Mason City man who traded his dog for a gun to shoot his son convicted in federal court

CEDAR RAPIDS – He traded his dog for gun so he could shoot his own son.  Now, Billy Douglas Thorne of Mason City faces at least 15 years in federal prison.

Thorne, age 57, who possessed a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense was convicted by a jury yesterday, after a one-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Thorne was convicted of one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. The verdict was returned on April 17, 2014, following about one hour of jury deliberations.

The evidence at trial showed that on July 24, 2012, Thorne traded his dog for a .22 caliber rifle which he intended to use to shoot his son. Fearing that police would arrive and find the gun in his residence, Thorne had others hide the gun in a Mason City park. After Thorne was arrested on harassment charges, the gun was turned over to the police. Thorne had previously been convicted in 1997 in the State of Florida of five counts of Burglary of a Dwelling and one count of Armed Burglary, all felony offenses.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Thorne remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing. Thorne faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and five years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Tvedt and was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Ankeny Police Department, and the Mason City Police Department.

Billy Douglas Thorne CONVICTED
Billy Douglas Thorne

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