In plan to shoot son, man trades dog for rifle

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An Iowa man was convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon, after exchanging his dog for a rifle.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in July of 2012, Billy Douglas Thorne, 57, traded his dog for a .22 caliber rifle that he planned to use to shoot his son.

Trial evidence showed that after Thorne, from Mason City, traded his dog for the rifle, he had others hide the gun in a Mason City park so that police would not find it in his home, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Once Thorne was arrested on harassment charges, the gun was given to police.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Thorne had previously been convicted of five counts of burglary of a dwelling and one count of armed burglary in the State of Florida.

Thorne was convicted of one count of possession of a firearm by a felon on Thursday, April 17, 2014 in a Cedar Rapids court, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Thorne was held in custody of the United States Marshal prior to sentencing. He faced a minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and five years of supervised release following imprisonment.