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Lt. loses murder appeal in Iraqi man's death

Jul. 28, 2011 - 05:52AM   |   Last Updated: Jul. 28, 2011 - 05:52AM  |  
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OKLAHOMA CITY — A military appeals court has upheld the conviction of an Oklahoma soldier accused of killing an Iraqi man.

The decision came last week against Lt. Michael Behenna, who was convicted of unpremeditated murder in a war zone and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Behenna's attorneys focused their appeal on whether prosecutors improperly withheld evidence favorable to him and whether the trial judge correctly instructed the court-martial panel on how to weigh his self-defense claim.

An Army Court of Criminal Appeals panel rejected those arguments.

Behenna says he killed Ali Mansur in 2008 after the unarmed man lunged for his gun. Mansur was suspected of being involved in an attack that killed two members of Behenna's platoon and wounded two others.

Vicki Behenna says her son plans to appeal.

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