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Former Marine accused of wearing medals he didn't earn

December 30, 2009 |  6:39 pm


A 69-year-old former Marine was arraigned in San Diego federal court Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of wearing military medals he did not earn.

David Vincent Weber allegedly wore two Purple Hearts and several Legion of Merit medals to a Marine Corps birthday celebration in Ramona in November. He was charged under the federal Stolen Valor Act.

Weber also claimed to be a Marine major general, according to court documents. Magistrate Ruben Brooks set a preliminary hearing for Jan. 14.

Federal prosecutor Arthur Rizer, who received a Purple Heart after being wounded in Iraq as an Army captain, said Weber, by wearing the fake medals, drew attention away from other attendees at the birthday celebration whose medals were genuine.

As the oldest person at the birthday party, Weber was given the privilege of the first piece of cake, a Marine Corps tradition, according to court documents.

Weber's attorney said his client suffers from multiple health problems, including prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease. Weber served in the Marine Corps in the 1960s and was discharged as a staff sergeant but without any of the medals that he wore to the Ramona party, according to the FBI.

A misdemeanor charge carries a maximum jail sentence of up to one year.

-- Tony Perry 

Photo: David Vincent Weber at a Marine Corps birthday celebration in Ramona, wearing the uniform of a major general and medals that federal prosecutors say he did not earn. Weber is being greeted by Lt. Col. Todd Oneto. Credit: Ramona Sentinel/photographer Timothy Jay Hall