McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

February 8, 2013

Parents of convicted soldier to testify in DC

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — The parents of an Oklahoma soldier convicted of killing an Iraqi prisoner are hoping the Army Clemency and Parole Board will reduce his sentence to time served.

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna of Edmond has been in a military prison since 2009 after being convicted of unpremeditated murder for killing the unarmed Iraqi man. Behenna says he shot the man when he lunged for Behenna's gun.

Scott and Vicki Behenna attended a hearing Thursday before the Army board in Washington, D.C., in which their attorney — son Brett Behenna — argued that Michael Behenna has served enough of his 15-year prison sentence.

The Army has argued that Behenna could not claim self-defense because he was pointing his weapon at the prisoner when the man allegedly reached for the gun.