Plea Deal for Stolen Valor Met with Protests

Chris Williams has a plea hearing today at the Henry County Courthouse after being charged with fraudulent practice in the second degree in 2022 after posing as a military veteran and accepting over $4,500 in a benefit motorcycle ride in Mt. Pleasant in 2020.

A small group outside the courthouse are protesting for no plea deal. KILJ spoke with Gary Ruth, who works with a non-profit to help veterans, about what happened in 2020,

“So, we did a benefit for him, raised over $5,000 for him and then we got a phone call from his aunt and uncle. He was never a veteran, never had cancer.”

Ruth went on to say that the plea deal was too lenient for an act of stolen valor,

“Now that he pleaded guilty, they want to offer him a plea deal, you know, get 5 years probation and it’s like ‘no that’s not good enough.’ First of all, you don’t pose as a veteran when you’re not a veteran and then lie about having cancer and stuff and this is not the first time he’s done that. He’s been caught in Illinois doing the same thing and out in western Iowa somewhere. So, in my opinion is the plea deal isn’t good enough.”

The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 made it a violation of federal law to falsely claim military service in the attempt to gain money, property or some other benefit by making the false claim.