May 6 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump on Monday pardoned a former Army first lieutenant who was convicted of killing an Iraqi detainee.
The White House announced that Trump had signed an executive grant of clemency, granting Michael Behenna a full pardon of his conviction in the death of Ali Mansur Mohamed.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders noted that 37 generals and admirals as well as a former Inspector General of the Department of Defense signed a brief in support of Behenna's self-defense claim and that Behenna was a "model prisoner" during his sentence.
"In light of these facts, Mr. Behenna is entirely deserving of this grant of executive clemency," said Sanders.
Behenna and Staff Sgt. Hal Warner were charged with premeditated murder, making false statements and obstruction of justice in connection with the death of Mansur.
In 2009, a military court sentenced Behenna to 25 years in prison for unpremeditated murder in a combat zone.
Prosecutor's stated he shot and killed Mansur, who was an alleged al-Qaeda operative, in retaliation for an improvised explosive device attack.
The White House statement noted that the U.S. Army's highest appellate court cited concern about how the trial court handled Behenna's self-defense claim.
Prior to his pardon, the Army Clemency and Parole Board had reduced his sentence to 15 years and he was paroled in 2014.