Correction: Kelvon Foster was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison. It has been corrected in this version.
The man who bought the gun for 17-year-old Anthony Thompson Jr. last year that set in motion the chain of events that led to Thompson's fatal shooting by a Knoxville police officer has been sentenced to 10 mohths in federal prison.
Kelvon Foster, 22, of Knoxville, was sentenced Thursday for "straw purchasing," or making false or fictitious statements in connection with the purchase of a firearm. After his release from prison, he will be placed on two years of supervised release, according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Tennessee.
As part of the plea agreement filed with the court, Foster admitted to purchasing firearms on behalf of people prohibited by federal law from purchasing firearms. Foster further admitted he purchased at least one of the firearms, a Glock pistol, on behalf of Thompson.
The straw buy happened at pawn shop
Foster told authorities he went to Harvey's Pistol and Pawn shop on Clinton Highway with Thompson and two other men a week before Thompson wound up dead in his high school bathroom.
According to the federal complaint, Thompson gave Foster cash to buy a gun before the quartet walked into the pawn shop. Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen has said Thompson tossed in some free marijuana to sweeten the deal for Foster.
Foster signed a form at the pawn shop attesting that he was buying guns for himself. Thompson and the other two men then shopped for weapons, the complaint stated. Once Thompson chose the Glock, he walked out of the pawn shop empty handed.
Thompson met up with Foster later that day in a parking lot on Broadway and kept the gun.
A week later, Thompson was holed up in a bathroom at Austin-East with the loaded Glock in his jacket pocket after learning his girlfriend's mother had called police and accused him of battering the girl at school earlier that day, records show.
Police officers entered the bathroom to find Thompson and shot him during the confrontation.
Allen concluded shortly after the police shooting that it was legally justified and none of the four officers involved were charged. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will send its findings to KPD's Internal Affairs Unit, which will produce a summary report on the findings. The release date is unknown.
After the fatal shooting, Foster was arrested on the federal charge of lying to buy the handgun, as well as a state misdemeanor charge of furnishing a gun to a juvenile.
Foster pleaded guilty in January to the state misdemeanor and was sentenced to one year in jail, with one day served and the remaining time suspended concurrent to his federal sentence.
“In most straw purchasing cases, the harm is understood but often theoretical,” said United States Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III. “In this case, the harm was real and tragic. The laws prohibiting certain persons from purchasing firearms are there for a reason, and my office, and our law enforcement partners, will continue pursuing these cases to the fullest extent of the law."
This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Man who bought gun for Anthony Thompson Jr. gets 10-month sentence