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Trump excuses the former Army Ranger, convicted of killing an Iraqi prisoner



President Donald Trump has sentenced Michael Behenna, a former Army Ranger in the 101st Airborne Division, for killing an Iraqi prisoner in 2009.

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Behenna, 35, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for 25 years in prison for "deliberate murder in a combat zone" after alleged Al Qaeda terrorist Ali Mansur was killed. Behenna was released in 2014.
While Behenna said that he had killed Mansur in self-defense, he admitted during the trial that he would not comply with the order to return Mansour to his village after being released from military secrecy, and questioned him about his Connection to an explosion in which two US soldiers were killed.

The prosecutors said Behenna was interrogated instead and Mansour stripped naked before he shot him twice.

  PHOTO: 1. Lt. Michael C. Behenna (left) and his defender, Captain Tom Clark (right), go to Camp Speicher north of Baghdad Iraq, September 21, 2008.
Vanessa Gera / AP, FILE
1. Lt. Michael C. Behenna, left, and his defender Capt. Tom Clark, right, walk into camp storage north of Baghdad. Iraq, September 21, 2008.

Behenna's trial has increased the support of comrades.

Sarah Sanders, White House Press Secretary, wrote in a statement that "on his release from prison in 2014," dozens of motorcycle riders from the Patriot Guard motorcyclists had teamed with Behenna to bring him to his home in Oklahoma. " She added that "Behenna's case has found broad support from the military, elected officials in Oklahoma, and the public," and he was a "model prisoner."

However, questions were asked about Behenna's self-defense claim.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike earlier this year sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr urging the Trump administration to consider a pardon for Behenna.

In a statement Behenna thanked the President "for his mercy".

"Although this is a time of great joy for my family, as a country we must never forget Adam Kohlhaas and Steven Christofferson and all those who put their lives at the service of this great nation," Behenna said, citing his comrades killed in combat "They represent the best of our society, and their families will forever be in our thoughts and prayers."

Michael Stone of ABC News contributed to this report.


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