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

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)  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.

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