Oklahoma Attorney General Asks Trump to Pardon US Soldier

Michael Behenna, center, is embraced by his brother Brett and girlfriend Shannon Wahl following his release from prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., March 14, 2014. Behenna was convicted of killing an Iraqi prisoner and served five years of his 15-year sentence. (Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP)
Michael Behenna, center, is embraced by his brother Brett and girlfriend Shannon Wahl following his release from prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., March 14, 2014. Behenna was convicted of killing an Iraqi prisoner and served five years of his 15-year sentence. (Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP)

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma's attorney general is renewing his request that President Donald Trump pardon a former U.S. soldier from Oklahoma convicted of killing an Iraqi prisoner.

Attorney General Mike Hunter supports a pardon for former Army Lt. Michael Behenna; he first requested one in February 2018.

Behenna was convicted in 2009 of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone after killing a suspected al-Qaida terrorist. He was paroled in 2014 and remains on parole until 2024.

In letters dated Monday to Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr, Hunter says Department of Justice regulations that prohibit anyone on parole from applying for a pardon "unduly restrict" the president's constitutional power to grant pardons.

Hunter has said he believes Behenna's conviction was unjustified because of erroneous jury instructions and the failure of prosecutors to turn over evidence supporting a self-defense claim.

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