No Charges For Missouri Homeowner Over Military Headstone Patio

| by Reuters

A Missouri man who used dozens of military headstones to make a patio at his house will not face criminal charges and the headstones would be destroyed, authorities said on Tuesday.

The headstones the unidentified homeowner used were never U.S. government property, never placed at a cemetery or stolen and no state or federal charges will result, Ozark County Sheriff Darrin Reed said.

The homeowner told ABC television affiliate KSPR in Springfield, Missouri, that he regretted using the headstones, which he found in a landfill about a decade ago.

Reed said deputies and firefighters removed the headstones during the weekend at the homeowner's request. The headstones were crushed and were to be buried on Tuesday afternoon, he said.

"As soon as I put dirt over the top of them, the case will be closed," Reed said.

A U.S. Navy veteran in late July posted several photos of the headstones on Facebook and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs learned about the patio on Aug. 14.

A department spokeswoman said on Tuesday the case was closed.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported that a local monument company had made the headstones, which were inscribed with names, under a Department of Veterans Affairs contract and discarded them as defective. Company officials could not be reached immediately for comment.

"It was poor judgment," Reed said. "I would hope that people would have more respect for veterans."

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Bill Trott) / Photo credit: Facebook