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Appeal for Okla. Soldier Convicted in Iraq Death (Apr 23, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An attorney for an Oklahoma soldier convicted of killing an unarmed Iraqi prison detainee has asked a military appeals court to overturn the conviction.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces heard arguments Monday in Washington, D.C., in the appeal by 1st Lt. Michael Behenna of Edmond. Behenna was convicted in 2009 of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Behenna shot the man execution-style after interrogating him at gunpoint about a roadside bombing that killed two men under Behenna's command.

Behenna says he shot the man when he reached for Behenna's handgun. Defense attorney Jack Zimmerman says Army prosecutors didn't disclose that their crime scene expert supported Behenna's self-defense claim.

There was no indication when the court might rule.


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