E’town man arrested for deserting Army

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25-year-old was labeled as AWOL on Jan. 1, post spokesman says

By Sarah Bennett

The Hardin County Sheriff’s Office arrested an Elizabethtown man Thursday night wanted for deserting the U.S. Army.

Pvt. E-1 Shawn P. Kinney, 25, was listed as AWOL on Jan. 1, according to Fort Knox spokesman Kyle Hodges. Kinney is assigned to Special Processing Company at the post’s Personnel Control Facility.

Greg Lowe, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said a call from Fort Knox officials provided deputies with Kinney’s Elizabethtown address and requested they find him. Kinney was released Friday afternoon from the Hardin County Detention Center.

The Army defines a deserter as “a soldier absent without authority for 30 consecutive days,” according to a release from Fort Knox.

Hodges said officials typically do not actively search for deserters. If a soldier is identified as a deserter, that soldier receives a mark on his or her record that’s similar to an arrest warrant.

Lowe said law enforcement officers have access to a national database of deserters from the armed forces.

According to a Fort Knox statement, consequences for desertion vary and commanders have discretion to retain and rehabilitate, administratively separate or court-martial. Because he did not know the specifics of Kinney’s case, Hodges said it would be unfair to speculate what action, if any, would be taken.

“Soldiers, upon being processed on charges of AWOL/ desertion, are given the opportunity to explain their case to Army authorities,” Hodges said. “And based on the facts of each case, the appropriate and warranted action is taken.”

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.