Shane Ladner arrested, charged for lying about Purple Heart - New York News

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>>

  • 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.
  • Get Financially Fit: A Step-By-Step Plan

    Get Financially Fit: A Step-By-Step Plan

    Monday, April 14 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-04-14 13:15:13 GMT
    April is Financial Literacy Month, so it's time to think about getting financially fit.  Let's start with two questions. Do you know how much you spend each month?  How much of your check should you save?
    April is Financial Literacy Month, so it's time to think about getting financially fit.  Let's start with two questions:  Do you know how much you spend each month?  How much of your check should you save?
  • 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>>

  • Atlanta Falcons

    Falcons 2014-2015 schedule released

    Falcons 2014-2015 schedule released

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:13 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:13:59 GMT
    The NFL has released the 2014-2015 season schedules and the Atlanta Falcons slate of games provides plenty of intrigue. Here are a few items of interest. Week 1 will be a rematch of last year’s season opener, only this time, the New Orleans Saints come to the Georgia Dome. The Falcons play the Detroit Lions in London in Week 8. It’s a game fans will have to get up early to watch. It airs at 9:30 a.m. EST.
    The NFL has released the 2014-2015 season schedules and the Atlanta Falcons slate of games provides plenty of intrigue. Here are a few items of interest. Week 1 will be a rematch of last year’s season opener, only this time, the New Orleans Saints come to the Georgia Dome. The Falcons play the Detroit Lions in London in Week 8. It’s a game fans will have to get up early to watch. It airs at 9:30 a.m. EST.
  • GBI issues amber alert for two-year old girl

    GBI issues amber alert for two-year old girl

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:46 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:46:51 GMT
    Maliah Harris Maliah Harris
    The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has issued a Levi’s Call, Georgia’s Amber Alert. The Mississippi Highway Patrol is on the lookout for 2 year old Maliah Harris. Harris is believed to have been abducted in from Caledonia Mississippi Wednesday morning. Harris is described as a white two-year-old female with blonde hair. Authorities said Harris was possibly abducted by Donald Boyd Harris. Boyd is described as a 34-year old 5’11” white male with brown hair and blue eyes. Authorities believe th...
    The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has issued a Levi’s Call, Georgia’s Amber Alert. The Mississippi Highway Patrol is on the lookout for 2 year old Maliah Harris. Harris is believed to have been abducted in from Caledonia Mississippi Wednesday morning. Harris is described as a white two-year-old female with blonde hair. Authorities said Harris was possibly abducted by Donald Boyd Harris. Boyd is described as a 34-year old 5’11” white male with brown hair and blue eyes. Authorities believe th...
  • Governor signs controversial gun bill into law

    Governor signs controversial gun bill into law

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:12 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:12:43 GMT
    A few hundred gun rights advocates gathered for Wednesday's bill signing in Ellijay with top officials including House Speaker David Ralston and bill sponsor Rep. Rick Jasperse.
    A few hundred gun rights advocates gathered for Wednesday's bill signing in Ellijay with top officials including House Speaker David Ralston and bill sponsor Rep. Rick Jasperse.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:04 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:04:50 GMT
    The brother-in-law of the Prince of Wales died Wednesday after falling outside a hotel bar and suffering a head injury, police said. Mark Shand, the brother of Prince Charles' wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was in New York for a charity auction at Sotheby's.
    The brother-in-law of the Prince of Wales died Wednesday after falling outside a hotel bar and suffering a head injury, police said. Mark Shand, the brother of Prince Charles' wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was in New York for a charity auction at Sotheby's.
  • Deep split in Port Authority over unfinished WTC tower

    Deep split in Port Authority over unfinished WTC tower

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:03:40 GMT
    Board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed a deep split Wednesday over the agency's role in effecting the completion of the long-delayed 3 World Trade Center project, with some commissioners lauding the effort and others expressing grave concerns. The discussion at the monthly board meeting offered a rare glimpse into the negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes in recent months.
    Board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed a deep split Wednesday over the agency's role in effecting the completion of the long-delayed 3 World Trade Center project, with some commissioners lauding the effort and others expressing grave concerns. The discussion at the monthly board meeting offered a rare glimpse into the negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes in recent months.
  • God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:36 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:36:46 GMT
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
Powered by WorldNow
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