Trial postponed in Purple Heart case

By The Associated Press

GREENVILLE — The trial of a Mississippi man accused of falsely claiming to be a Purple Heart recipient to collect benefits has been indefinitely postponed.

Charles Welshans had been scheduled for Monday in federal court in Greenville on charges he defrauded $24,844 from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

U.S. District Judge W. Allen Pepper Jr. on Friday granted a defense request for a mental evaluation of Welshans.

Welshans has pleaded not guilty. He is free on $5,000 bond.

The government alleges that Welshans lied when he claimed he was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded in a mortar attack in Lebanon.

The government claims Welshans received VA benefits between 2004 and 2008.

The Purple Heart is awarded to those killed or injured on the battlefield.