FORT EDWARD — The Hartford man who police claim had an illegal arsenal of assault rifles and accessories that he showed off in online videos has been indicted on 20 criminal charges by a Washington County grand jury.
William R. Donaldson, 51, faces 12 felonies and eight misdemeanors in connection with a State Police investigation that began when he allegedly fired a shot from a handgun into a wall in his home, over the head of his then-girlfriend.
That resulted in his arrest on two charges, in part because he did not have a permit for the handgun. Days later, he allegedly violated an order of protection by sending the woman a link to an online video that showed him firing semiautomatic rifles on his Route 196 property.
It was titled “New York State Police are criminals in uniform — my final years” in which he addressed her and said his life was “probably going to end” in a few days and said “We’ll see what happens, watch your local news.” Other videos that included him making threatening comments towards Gov. Andrew Cuomo were also posted.
That led to a State Police search of his home, and the seizure of at least five guns, including three assault-style rifles that were alleged to be illegal under New York law, and illegal hollow-point rounds as well.
Among the long guns were AR-15, AK-47 and .308-caliber rifles made by Panther Arms and Norinco that had features that made them illegal under state law, court records allege.
He also had seven magazines for the rifles that were illegal because they could hold more than 10 rounds, the indictment alleges.
He faces nine felony charges of criminal possession of a weapon, three felony charges of criminal possession of a firearm, seven misdemeanor charges of possession of a large-capacity ammunition feeding device and one misdemeanor menacing charge, court records show.
Court records showed that Troy lawyer Henry Bauer is representing him, but he did not return a phone call for comment Thursday or Friday.
Donaldson is being held in Washington County Jail for lack of bail, pending further court action.
He faces up to 15 years in state prison on each of the weightiest charges against him, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Donaldson also made headlines in 2016 during a dispute with a different ex-girlfriend.
He posted a variety of signs on his property, which he operated as a beef farm known as Horny Hill, denigrating her and calling her names, which led to charges of harassment, aggravated harassment and criminal contempt.