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Washington Notes: U.S. Supreme Court signals interest in 1st Lt. Michael Behenna's case

High court wants Justice Department's views on Edmond soldier's appeal; Gov. Mary Fallin salutes retiring Air National Guard director
by Chris Casteel Modified: January 29, 2013 at 8:47 pm •  Published: January 30, 2013


Fallin salutes retiring general

Gov. Mary Fallin was in the Washington area on Tuesday to speak at a retirement ceremony for Lt. Gen. Harry “Bud” Wyatt, a former adjutant general of Oklahoma who was serving as director of the Air National Guard.

Wyatt had served as the Air National Guard director since Feb. 1, 2009.

Fallin praised the Oklahoman for bringing “the strength, resilience and spirit of our state — known as the Oklahoma Standard — to the Pentagon and the adjutant generals of our nation.”

Wyatt entered the Air Force in 1971 and was a command pilot with more 3,000 flying hours in eight aircraft. He received a law degree from the University of Tulsa and served as an associate district judge in Oklahoma.

As director of the Air National Guard, he was responsible for programs affecting more than 106,700 Air National Guard members in more than 88 wings and 200 geographically-separated units throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands, according to the Air Force.

Court may review soldier's case

The U.S. Supreme Court wants the Justice Department to weigh in on the case of U.S. Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, the Edmond soldier serving a 15-year prison term for killing an Iraqi man.

Behenna, whose 2008 conviction of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone was upheld by two military appeals courts, filed a petition this month for the Supreme Court to review his case. The Justice Department initially declined to respond to Behenna's arguments, and the justices were set to decide on Feb. 15 whether to hear Behenna's appeal.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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