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April 18, 2014

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Ex-soldier convicted in Iraqi death granted parole

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 | 12:27 p.m.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former U.S. Army lieutenant from Oklahoma who was convicted of killing an Iraqi prisoner has been granted parole.

The Army said Wednesday that former Lt. Michael Behenna of Edmond was granted parole after serving five years of a 15-year sentence. Col. David Patterson said the Army Clemency and Parole Board agreed to the move.

Behenna's parents did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment Wednesday, but previously said Behenna would work on an Oklahoma cattle ranch and take classes at Oklahoma State University.

Behenna was convicted in 2009 of unpremeditated murder for killing an unarmed Iraqi man. Behenna said he shot the man in self-defense when the man lunged for Behenna's gun. The Army said Behenna could not claim self-defense because he was pointing his weapon at the prisoner.