Widow Of Zanesville Man Who Set Exotic Animals Free To Get 40 Guns Back


UPDATED: Thursday April 26, 2012 8:54 PM

The widow of the Zanesville man who released dozens of exotic animals he owned into the wild will receive 40 of the weapons he owned as part of an agreement, 10TV News reported on Thursday.

A federal judge agreed to the settlement to give Marian Thompson the weapons back, 10TV's Kevin Landers reported.

Court records also obtained by 10TV News showed that Terry Thompson admitted to authorities that he traded weapons for exotic animals.

According to a deposition obtained by 10TV News, Terry Thompson was interviewed in March 2011 inside a federal prison in West Virginia. The interview came nearly a year after he pleaded guilty to possessing eight illegal firearms, including five fully automatic firearms and three short-barreled firearms without serial numbers.

In all, 133 guns were found inside the Thompsons' home.  A federal judge sentenced him to one year and one day for his crimes, Landers reported.

Video taken by federal agents that was obtained by 10TV News on Thursday showed numerous weapons in the Thompsons' basement.

The video that was recorded on June 18, 2008 also showed Marian Thompson feeding a bear inside the home.

Federal agents executed the 2008 search warrant in connection with an illegal weapons case, Landers reported. It was supposed to be used in a federal weapons case against Terry Thompson but was never shown in court because he entered a guilty plea to possessing eight illegal firearms.

Court documents showed video evidence in the case that was obtained when agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives executed a search warrant on the Thompson's property near Zanesville in June 2008.

The ATF search warrant was obtained after an undercover informant met with Terry Thompson on three occasions during the spring of 2008, according to court documents obtained by 10TV News.

According to court documents, Thompson told an informant that he had never been found out, Landers reported.

“If the ATF (comes to) question me, which they never have and should. If they would, they know nothing.”

In the deposition that took place last spring from prison, Terry Thompson admitted having weapons and ammunition, 10TV reported.

When asked what happened to 22 of the weapons, Terry Thompson replied that he probably traded them, according to the deposition.

He also admitted trading weapons in exchange for a monkey, leopard and baby tiger, Landers reported.

In the deposition, Terry Thompson said that while he used the weapons as currency, he never sold an exotic animal.

"I don't do that for money," Terry Thompson said.

On Oct. 18, months after he was released from prison, Terry Thompson set dozens of exotic animals loose from his property before he committed suicide.

Muskingum County sheriff's deputies were forced to kill dozens of the animals. Six animals survived and were taken to the Columbus Zoo. One of the animals later died in an accident at the zoo.

Stay with 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for continuing coverage.

 

Previous Stories:

April 25, 2012: Ohio Senate Approves Exotic Animal Bill
April 24, 2012: Panel Accepts Changes To Exotic Animal Rules
April 23, 2012: Zanesville Exotic Animals Given 'All Clear' During Preliminary Evaluation
March 22, 2012: Exotic Animals Tested, Fate To Be Decided Soon
February 7, 2012: Wife Of Man Who Released Animals, Killed Self Wants Animals Back
January 30, 2012: Leopard Released In Zanesville Euthanized After Spinal Cord Injury At Zoo
January 18, 2012: Report: Zanesville Man 'Distraught' Before Releasing Exotic Animals
December 22, 2011: Final Autopsy Released For Zanesville Man Who Freed Exotic Animals
November 10, 2011: Muskingum Co. Exotic Animal Owner's Weapon Inventory Brought Federal Charges
November 4, 2011 First Video Released Moments After Exotic Animals Set Free
October 27, 2011: Ohio Department Of Agriculture Quarantines Exotic Animals At Zoo
October 19, 2011: Schools Close After Animals Escape Muskingum Co. Exotic Animal Farm
October 19, 2011: Rescued Exotic Animals Arrive At Zoo
October 19, 2011: Residents Come Dangerously Close To Escaped Animals
October 19, 2011: Sheriff: Deputies Had To Shoot Escaped Animals To Kill
October 18, 2011: Schools Close After Animals Escape Muskingum Co. Exotic Animal Farm

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