WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected the appeal of 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, and the Edmond soldier’s father said the focus would now turn full-time toward the clemency and parole process.
“He will get out, he will move on with his life,” said Scott Behenna, of Edmond.
Michael Behenna, 30, has served four years of a 15-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
Scott Behenna said his son is eligible for parole in early January and will have an initial hearing in October. The family also will seek to have President Barack Obama commute the sentence, Scott Behenna said.
The Supreme Court declined without comment to review Behenna’s conviction of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone.
Behenna shot and killed an unarmed Iraqi man in 2008 while interrogating him about terrorist activities.
Behenna’s petition to the nation’s highest court was a long shot since the court accepts few cases each year.
Written by a team of constitutional law professors and military justice experts, the petition drew national attention and the support of 27 retired generals and admirals.
The U.S. Justice Department initially declined to file a response to Behenna’s petition, but the Supreme Court seemed to indicate an interest in the case when it asked for the government’s arguments.