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Man, 22, who bought gun for A-E High School student pleads guilty to misdemeanor charge

Kelvon Foster bought the 9mm pistol for Anthony Thompson Jr., 17, days before Thompson brought the gun with him to Austin-East High School.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A 22-year-old Knoxville man pleaded guilty Monday morning to a single misdemeanor charge of providing an Austin-East High School student with the pistol he had on him during a fatal 2021 armed confrontation in a school bathroom.

Kelvon Foster, 22, was given credit for time served and put on unsupervised release on the charge in Knox County General Sessions Court, according to his attorney, Mark Stephens. As a misdemeanor, the charge carried a maximum punishment time of 11 months, 29 days.

Credit: WBIR
Kelvon Foster leaves General Sessions Court with attorney Mark Stephens.

Foster bought a 9mm pistol for Anthony Thompson Jr., 17, in April 2021 that Thompson had with him April 12, 2021, in a school bathroom. During a confrontation with Knoxville police, Thompson's gun went off and police shot him to death.

Stephens said Monday federal court will control Foster's fate and have supervision over him.

He's agreed to plead guilty there to a felony count of making false statements in connection with the purchase of the pistol at a Clinton Plaza Drive store last year.

Foster appeared in court Friday in U.S. District Court in Knoxville to submit to the information charge. The court formally convicted him, setting his sentencing for June 30, 2022 in front of U.S. District Judge Katherine Crytzer.

Store security video showed Foster and Thompson in the store together, according to federal records.

Thompson directed Foster to the gun he wanted, authorities allege. Foster filled out paperwork at the store attesting that he was buying the gun for his own use. That was a lie, court papers state.

Later the same day, Foster handed off the Glock pistol to the teen in a parking lot off-Broadway in exchange for cash and marijuana, according to state court records.

Federal court records show Foster has admitted to authorities "straw purchasing other firearms for Thompson." He'd known Thompson since the teen was age 5 because he was friends with Thompson's brother, records state.

Credit: Submitted: Alexus Page
Anthony Thompson Jr.

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