WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has pardoned a former U.S. soldier convicted in 2009 of killing an Iraqi prisoner, the White House announced Monday.
Trump signed an executive grant of clemency, a full pardon, for former Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, of Oklahoma, press secretary Sarah Sanders said.
Behenna was convicted of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone after killing a suspected al-Qaida terrorist in Iraq. He was paroled in 2014 and had been scheduled to remain on parole until 2024.
A military court had sentenced Behenna to 25 years in prison. However, the Army’s highest appellate court noted concern about how the trial court had handled Behenna’s claim of self-defense, Sanders said. The Army Clemency and Parole Board also reduced his sentence to 15 years and paroled him as soon as he was eligible.