ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
28°
Cloudy
H 40° L 26°
  • cloudy-day
    28°
    Current Conditions
    Cloudy. H 40° L 26°
  • cloudy-day
    31°
    Afternoon
    Cloudy. H 40° L 26°
  • rain-day
    32°
    Evening
    Light Rain / Frz Rain. H 34° L 31°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

State & Regional
Oklahoma AG backed ex-soldier's push for pardon on his own
Close

Oklahoma AG backed ex-soldier's push for pardon on his own

Oklahoma AG backed ex-soldier's push for pardon on his own
Photo Credit: Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP
FILE - In this March 14, 2014, file photo, Michael Behenna, center, is embraced by his brother Brett and girlfriend Shannon Wahl following his release from prison in Leavenworth, Kan. Behenna, who was convicted of killing an Iraqi prisoner, served five years of his 15-year sentence for unpremeditated murder in a combat zone. Oklahoma's Attorney General Mike Hunter is urging President Donald Trump to issue a pardon to Behenna. (Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP)

Oklahoma AG backed ex-soldier's push for pardon on his own

Oklahoma's attorney general said Friday that he acted on his own when he sent a letter to President Donald Trump supporting a pardon requested by a former U.S Army soldier convicted of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone.

Mike Hunter sent the letter, dated Wednesday, to Trump in support of the pardon request of former 1st Lt. Michael Behenna.

"It's a case ... I have followed and been aware of and never felt the outcome was justified," Hunter told The Associated Press. "When I see something that's not consistent with the basic principles of justice ... I'm going to do my best to protect the interest of the citizens of this state."

Hunter acknowledged he is "acquainted" with Behenna's mother, Vicki Behenna, who is a former federal prosecutor now in private law practice in Oklahoma City, and with Behenna's brother, who is also an attorney, but said he does not know them well.

Behenna, a native of the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond, now lives in Guthrie where he works on a cattle ranch, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Oklahoma City. He was granted parole in 2014 after serving five years of his 15-year sentence.

Behenna said the letter came as a surprise.

"This is not something we asked him to do," Behenna said. "I didn't have a heads-up that he was going to write that letter to President Trump. At the same time, (I am) very thankful and grateful for Mr. Hunter's compassion."

Behenna was convicted in 2009 in the death of an unarmed Iraqi prisoner. Behenna said he acted in self-defense when the man reached for Behenna's handgun, but the Army said the argument didn't stand up because Behenna was pointing his weapon at the prisoner.

Behenna admitted during his trial that instead of taking the prisoner home as he was ordered, he took the man to a railroad culvert, stripped him, then questioned him at gunpoint about a roadside bombing that had killed two members of Behenna's platoon.

Behenna said the man moved toward him and he shot him because he thought he would try to take his gun.

A military appeals court in 2012 found that jury instructions on self-defense were incorrect and that prosecutors failed to tell the defense of a crime scene expert who supported the claim of self-defense, but said the errors were harmless and did not affect the outcome of the trial.

Army public affairs officer William Sharp said he could not immediately comment.

Recent presidents have issued pardons near the end of their term in office, but Behenna is hopeful for an answer sooner.

"As we all know President Trump has pardoned Joe Arpaio, what, a few months back," said Behenna.

Arpaio, a former six-term sheriff of metro Phoenix, was convicted on a misdemeanor contempt of court charge in 2011 after defying a judge's order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. Trump pardoned him in August.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • As state capitals go, Oklahoma does pretty well. So say the ranking wizards at WalletHub, which looked at such factors as affordability, economic well-being, quality of education and health, and quality of life. OKC did best in affordability, ranked at number 2 in the whole nation, and was around average, give or take, in economic well-being and quality of life, for an overall ranking of 14 out of 50. Not too shabby. Oklahoma City does struggle a bit in education and health, ranked at 36. The top 3 capitals were Austin, Texas; Madison, Wisconsin; and Boise, Idaho. Bottom 3 were Jackson, Mississippi; Hartford, Connecticut; and Trenton, New Jersey. You can see the full list from WalletHub here.
  • Leyana had planned her birthday to a T. She even picked the right outfit. Then, the waiting began. Despite handing out invitations to everyone in Leyana’s class, no one showed up for the first-grader’s party, except for the actress who was hired to portray Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen.” >> Read more trending news Now, Lindsay Robert, who has been dressing up as Elsa and appearing at birthday parties, has reached out on Facebook to tell Leyana’s story. 'It was soul crushing. When I open the door, I’m used to all the kids running up to me. But she was just all by herself. Just looking down. Just so sad and she just launched herself into my arms,” Robert told KDVR. During the time  she was scheduled to arrive, there was supposed to be a house-full of kids. But it was only Leyana so she and Robert danced, sang and formed a friendship, KDVR reported. “I wasn’t kidding when I told you that every princess is smart and brave and kind, and you are all those things,” Robert told Leyana while KDVR videotaped the pair’s reunion. Robert took to Facebook to tell Leyana’s heartbreaking story. Not only is she sending a fairy garden to the little girl, “Because Elsa will never let you down,” she also visited Leyana with her “sister,” an actress playing Anna, and is planning another surprise for the 7-year-old.
  • A judge sentenced 63-year-old Stanley Vernon Majors on Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for gunning down his Lebanese neighbor in front of his south Tulsa home. The jury that convicted Majors earlier this month recommended that the life sentence not carry the possibility of parole, and the judge concurred. Prosecutors say Majors killed his neighbor near 91st and Memorial after bombarding him with racial insults for years.  Defense attorneys argued that Majors showed signs of dementia and appeared to have problems with his long-term memory.  
  • If there’s one thing no traveler wants, it’s to be stuck on the same vacation with this family. >> Read more trending newsAccording to the Sydney Morning Herald, at least 30 passengers aboard a Carnival Cruise Lines ship traveling to Melbourne were injured after a series of brawls. What is now being called the “the cruise from hell” led police to “remove a family group of passengers” when they left passengers scared and bloodied. It was reported that 23 members of one family left the 10-day cruise in the South Pacific early because of their behavior. Six men and three teenage boys were removed by police while the other 14 passengers, women and children, followed suit. “This is all over a thong, not a foot, a thong being stepped on and being instantly apologized for. What happened there and then was apologized for,” revealed a family member, who was identified only as Zac. “My nephew was threatened as he was returning a soccer … when four or five blokes walked up to him and said, ‘Don’t worry we’re gonna get ya.'” Videos show men and women engaging in the fight, as well as security kicking the entangled men on the floor. WARNING: The below video may be disturbing to some viewers. The man argued that security on the ship aggravated the situation by following them at “every possible moment.” “The first hit was thrown by security towards, not just my daughter and my sister-in-law, but my wife as well,” he argued. WARNING: The below video may be disturbing to some viewers. “They were looking for trouble from the minute they got on the ship,” a passenger identified as Katie told 3AW. David Barkho told the station that his son called him from the ship after being injured. “He said, ‘Please Dad, please, call the Federal Police,'” the father recalled. “I could hear a lot of screaming, crying in the background.” The cruise line explained its actions in a statement: A video shows that the family remained rowdy even in the removal process. At least one man thought to raise his middle finger toward the cheering onlookers after being loaded onto a separate vessel by authorities. Link to that video can be found here. Carnival initially released the following statement in response to the incident: Carnival Legend is currently on a 10-day South Pacific cruise scheduled to be completed in Melbourne tomorrow where the ship is currently homeported. The cruise has reportedly offered the other passengers a 25 percent refund on their tickets.
  • “Trump has arrived. Have you?” shout the barrage of glossy front-page advertisements in almost every major Indian newspaper. The ads, which have run repeatedly in the past few days, herald the arrival not of the American president but of his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., who is in New Delhi to sell luxury apartments and lavish attention on wealthy Indians who have already bought units in a Trump-branded development outside the Indian capital. The newspaper ads promise that buyers who order apartments in the development by Thursday will get “a conversation and dinner” with Trump Jr. a day later. President Trump has pledged to avoid any new foreign business deals during his term in office to avoid potential ethical conflicts. While the projects that Trump Jr. is promoting in India were inked before his father was elected, ethics experts have long seen the use of the Trump name to promote even existing business ventures as tricky territory. The distinction between old and new projects can be hazy, they note, and new deals can be shoehorned into old.  Donald Trump Jr. posed for photos Tuesday morning in New Delhi with Indian developers building complexes in four cities. Among the business partners accompanying him was Kalpesh Mehta who heads Tribeca, the firm described as the main Indian partner for Trump brand real estate projects.