On March 20th, 2009, Army Ranger 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna was sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing Ali Mansur, a known Al Qaeda operative while serving in Iraq. Mansur was known to be a member of an Al Qaeda cell operating in the lieutenant’s area of operation and Army intelligence believed he organized an attack on Lt. Behenna’s platoon in April 2008 which killed two U.S. soldiers and injured two more. Army intelligence ordered the release of Mansur and Lt. Behenna was ordered to return the terrorist to his home.
During the return of Mansur, Lt. Behenna again questioned the Al Qaeda member for information about other members of the terrorist cell, and financial supporters. During this interrogation, Mansur attacked Lt. Behenna, who killed the terrorist in self-defense. The government subsequently prosecuted Lt. Behenna for premeditated murder.
News 9 reported:
An Edmond soldier serving time for murder wins parole and is expected to be released next month, according to family.
Former U.S. Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna is serving a 15-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth. Behenna was convicted of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone for killing an Iraqi civilian while fighting in Iraq in 2008.
Prosecutors have argued that Behenna killed the man by shooting him in the head, execution style. Behenna says he shot in self-defense.
Behenna’s family has stood by him and now says he has won parole and will be released from Fort Leavenworth on March 14.
Governor Mary Fallin learned about Behenna’s parole Wednesday morning and released the following statement:
“I am glad this long ordeal has finally come to an end for Michael Behenna and his family. Michael went to Iraq to serve his nation and to defend liberty both here and abroad. Instead, he found himself mourning the loss of his friends from the inside of a cell. I believe the Army acted appropriately and compassionately in offering him parole.” – Gov. Mary Fallin.
Hat Tip Bev Perlson