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Former soldier accused of threatening to kill Obama to appear in court

By the CNN Wire Staff
Robert Quinones expressed plans to kill President Obama after a hostage standoff at Winn Army Community Hospital.
Robert Quinones expressed plans to kill President Obama after a hostage standoff at Winn Army Community Hospital.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Robert A. Quinones has served two tours in Iraq, his neighbor says
  • The former soldier faces multiple charges after a hostage incident
  • A search of his residence yields many weapons, an affidavit states
RELATED TOPICS

(CNN) -- A former soldier arrested after a hostage incident at a Georgia military base is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Robert Anthony Quinones, 29, of Hinesville, Georgia, will appear before a U.S. magistrate judge in Savannah, Georgia, on multiple charges, including threats to kill President Obama and former President Bill Clinton.

Quinones was arrested Monday after a two-hour hostage situation at Winn Army Community Hospital on Fort Stewart, about 45 miles from Savannah, according to the FBI.

Officials said he had demanded mental health care at the hospital.

Quinones is charged with assault of a federal officer and kidnapping in the incident, which ended with the gunman's surrender. No one was injured in the incident, officials said.

After he was taken into custody and during interviews, Quinones "expressed his plans, preparation and intentions to kill President Obama and former President Clinton," according to an affidavit filed in federal court.

"Quinones detailed his studies of Secret Service protocols, sniper techniques and means of disguise and weapons concealment to implement his assassination plans."

A search of his residence resulted in the discovery of 11 long guns, four pistols, multiple rounds of ammunition and dozens of bayonets and knives, according to the affidavit.

Authorities also found books and manuals about FBI hostage rescue teams, Osama bin Laden, Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, the Russian mafia and other topics, according to the affidavit signed by FBI and secret service agents.

When asked whether he would kill Obama or Clinton if given a chance, Quinones said, "Yes. On a scale of 1 to 10 about being serious, I am a 10," the affidavit said.

Quinones was discharged from the military in February and had a civilian job at Fort Stewart, said the FBI, which released no other information on his military record.

Neighbor Jerry Franklin said he has known Quinones for several years.

"He was a good kid," he said.

Franklin, 48, an Army retiree, said Quinones would talk with him and other veterans because they understood the stress brought on by combat. Quinones had served two tours in Iraq, Franklin said.

"All I know is he saw death," Franklin told CNN.

"Maybe they [the Army] should have helped him a little more," said Franklin, adding he was not blaming the military for the incident. Quinones might not have received sufficient individual treatment after returning from Iraq, Franklin said.

Quinones worked at one of Fort Stewart's post-exchange stores, the neighbor said, adding he didn't believe Quinones had been treated at Winn Army Community Hospital, the scene of Monday's hostage situation.

The hostage incident started about 4 a.m. Monday when the former Army serviceman entered the facility and demanded care, spokesman Kevin Larson said Monday.

The gunman immediately took one hostage and went to the third floor, which houses the behavioral health unit, where he held two more people at gunpoint, including a nurse practitioner, Larson said.

The nurse, an Army major, was able to calm the man and authorities started negotiations, Larson said. The gunman eventually surrendered and was taken into custody for questioning, he said.

Quinones was armed with an MP5 assault rifle, an AR-15 assault rifle, a 9 mm handgun and a .38-caliber pistol, according to the affidavit. It accuses the gunman of pointing a firearm at an Army negotiator.

Quinones' attorney, Karl Christian Zipperer, said late Tuesday afternoon he had just gotten the case and would have no comment. A phone number for Quinones in Hinesville was disconnected.

CNN's Phil Gast contributed to this report.

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