The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
by Alexis Stevens
Jun 13, 2013
He's accused of telling a little white lie about a big purple honor.
Shane Steven Ladner, of Canton, says he is a Purple Heart recipient after being wounded in December 1989, when he was a 17-year-old soldier in the U.S. Army. But the Army, which does have a record of his service, has no record of Ladner's Purple Heart, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.
Ladner, 40, a former Holly Springs police officer, is facing criminal charges that he lied about the medal following a six-week investigation into his military records. But Ladner's attorney, based in Texas, contends the veteran does have a Purple Heart.
Questions were raised about the medal after Ladner and his wife were injured during a veterans parade accident in Texas. A float they were riding was struck by a train and his wife later lost her leg.
"They did a lot of research and there was no evidence whatsoever to indicate he has ever been awarded a Purple Heart. Period," Lt. Jay Baker with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office said.
Ladner was arrested shortly after noon Wednesday and was charged with four counts of theft by deception, one count of false swearing and one count of false statement to a police officer, Baker said. Shortly before 5 p.m., Ladner was released from jail after posting $23,100 bond.
In November, Ladner and his wife were participating in a parade for veterans in Midland, Texas, when they were among 16 injured in a train wreck that killed four.
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