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Purple Heart recipient charged with multiple felonies

5:32 PM, Jun 1, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA- (WXIA) On Thursday's 6:00 news, former Marine Monroe Seigle was introduced as a new recipient of the Purple Heart. After the broadcast, Seigle called 11Alive to disclose another part of his story-he's been charged with multiple felonies. Last October a Cobb County warrant says Monroe and three others allegedly entered a Kennesaw apartment to steal 15 kilos of cocaine and $320,000. His attorney Charles Lea said Seigle wanted to disclose the charges himself to avoid the dishonor of having them revealed by others later on. But he was very clear he believed the case was built on shaky ground, and his client is totally innocent.

"It's difficult to talk about [this case,] we don't want to talk about it, I don't even think it's appropriate to talk about it," Lea told 11Alive Friday morning. "The reason we're talking about it, and he felt something needed to be said, is that he was just awarded the Purple Heart. He is honor-bound to make sure that whatever circumstances exist in his personal life not detract from the significance of that award."

The Purple Heart is given to soldiers who are wounded in wartime, and Seigle was one of the first to receive it since restrictions were relaxed to include more levels of concussions. In 2006 the former Marine ran over a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq.

The Cobb County District Attorney's office did not return several messages requesting comment. But Lea pointed to parts of the arrest warrant that appear to show there is no known victim of the alleged armed robbery. It says the accused "did forcibly remove the property from the immediate presence of the occupants, whose identities are unknown."

Lea said he was confident his client would be proven innocent, and was clear that his wartime concussion would play no part in the defense of the case. He said both he and his client were sorry his name on a warrant could affect the reputation of the Purple Heart and the Marine Corps.

"There are a lot of people who are disappointed to hear about this," Lea said of Seagle's being charged. "And there will be a lot of people who see smoke and expect that there's a fire."

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