Shane Ladner arrested, charged for lying about Purple Heart - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Shane Ladner arrested, charged for lying about Purple Heart

Posted: Updated:
CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -

A man once hailed as a military hero was arrested on Wednesday. Former Holly Springs Police Officer Shane Ladner is accused of tricking people into thinking that he received a Purple Heart for being wounded in battle.

Cherokee County Sheriff's detectives took him into custody shortly after noon, charging him with four counts of theft by deception, one count of false swearing and one count of false statement to a police officer.

Last November, Shane Ladner and his wife, Meg, were injured in a Texas parade honoring military veterans. Four people died and dozens more were injured when a train struck the parade. Meg Ladner lost her left leg due to injuries suffered in the accident.

Shane Ladner's arrest comes after a six-week investigation at the request of District Attorney Shannon Wallace, the Sheriff's Office said.  The investigation revealed that Ladner was not a Purple Heart recipient as he has claimed for several years.

"There simply is absolutely no record of him receiving a Purple Heart ever in the U.S. Army," said Lt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office.

The criminal investigation followed a report by FOX 5 I-Team reporter Randy Travis. Ladner had claimed he had received a Purple Heart after being wounded in Panama. However, military documents obtained by the FOX 5 I-Team proved that Ladner never served in the war in Panama. In fact, he was in high school at the time.

The community raised thousands of dollars for Meg Ladner and Shane, who they believed to be a war hero.

Ladner eventually admitted to his lawyer that he lied about serving in Panama, but he said he did so only to cover how he really got injured: on a top secret Army mission targeting drug lords in Central America. The U.S. Army said that there's nothing in Ladner's files to back up that claim, or indicating that Ladner ever served in combat.

The theft by deception charges are from Shane Ladner receiving a free Purple Heart License plate in 2009, 2010, 2011 and in 2012. The Sheriff's Office says Ladner that when originally applied for the license plate in 2009 he was required to swear that he was a Purple Heart recipient, hence the False Swearing charge.

The false statement charge is from lying to detectives during an interview. The United States Army has no record of the 2004 DD214 that Ladner presented to obtain his Purple Heart Georgia license plate, authorities said.

Ladner was released from custody at Cherokee Adult Detention Center on a $23,100 bond.

Authorities said that there's no evidence that Meg Ladner knew anything about the deception. Still, they said they were puzzled by the fact that Shane and Meg Ladner went to Midland, Texas, last week to honor some of the first responders from that accident in November.

Ladner's attorney John Cook issued a statement late Wednesday stating, in part, "This arrest serves no purpose other than to continue to traumatize Shane and Meg Ladner, both of whom are still recovering from last year's train accident."

Cook also said, "When all of the information finally comes to light, plenty of people will owe Shane an apology."

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • Identity Protection Bill Signed into Law

    Identity Protection Bill Signed into Law

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:28 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:28:15 GMT
    With a stroke of the governor's pen, a new law that could help protect your identity now goes into effect. Republican State Senator John Albers says his bill, now law, will prohibit public disclosure of private information in court documents.
    With a stroke of the governor's pen, a new law that could help protect your identity now goes into effect. Republican State Senator John Albers says his bill, now law, will prohibit public disclosure of private information in court documents.
  • Fox 5 I-Team

    Cheap vs. Frugal

    Cheap vs. Frugal

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:15:25 GMT
    There is nothing wrong with saving a buck, but can you cross the line? There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal.
    There is nothing wrong with saving a buck, but can you cross the line? There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal.
  • Fox 5 I-Team

    Save on Vacation

    Save on Vacation

    Monday, April 21 2014 9:56 AM EDT2014-04-21 13:56:05 GMT
    Thinking about vacation is a lot of fun. Thinking about what it'll cost you is not so fun. Here are some ideas for cutting costs.
    Thinking about vacation is a lot of fun. Thinking about what it'll cost you is not so fun. Here are some ideas for cutting costs.
  • Contact the FOX 5 I-Team

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 5.  To reach our newsroom by phone, please call (404) 898-0100.

  • More Local NewsMore>>

  • Missing Tyrone teen located in Florida

    Missing Tyrone teen located in Florida

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:26 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:26:14 GMT
    Police in Florida have located a 13-year-old runaway from Tyrone, a city south of Atlanta.
    Police in Florida have located a 13-year-old runaway from Tyrone, a city south of Atlanta.
  • Man shot dead outside South DeKalb Mall

    Man shot dead outside South DeKalb Mall

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:39 AM EDT2014-04-24 14:39:41 GMT
    A man has been charged with murder after a shooting outside South DeKalb Mall on Wednesday evening.
    A man has been charged with murder after a shooting outside South DeKalb Mall on Wednesday evening.
  • Authorities investigate threat at Paulding Co. High

    Authorities investigate threat at Paulding Co. High

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:32 AM EDT2014-04-24 12:32:55 GMT
    Paulding County authorities are investigating a threat that came into Paulding County High School on Thursday morning.
    Paulding County authorities are investigating a threat that came into Paulding County High School on Thursday morning.
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices