Killer Navy SEAL picks Trump lawyer to challenge prison term
This July 17, 2010 US Navy photo shows a Navy SEAL platoon as they perform a land warfare demonstration at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek - Fort Story, Virginia (AFP Photo/Robert J. Fluegel)

A Navy SEAL who admitted to killing a Green Beret in Africa is hoping to reduce his 10-year sentence with help from one of Donald Trump's former lawyers.

Tony DeDolph pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, along with hazing, conspiracy and obstruction of justice, in the strangulation death of Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar during a drunken hazing incident in Mali. He hired Trump lawyer Tim Parlatore to represent him at his new sentencing hearing after his previous punishment was overturned on appeal, reported The Daily Beast.

“Obviously I've built a reputation within the special operations community of winning,” said Parlatore, a Naval Academy graduate who served in the Navy before attending law school.

A military appeals court overturned the first sentence of six to 10 years after revelations that his defense team was not aware one of the witnesses, Marine Raider Kevin Maxwell, had asked for clemency in exchange for his testimony. DeDolph is asking for a lighter sentence at his scheduled hearing in June.

“This case at this stage is all about making sure that he gets an appropriate sentence,” Parlatore said. “There was no intent to kill. This was unfortunately an incident that went badly. So, what is there to win? Making sure that a good man who is involved in a mistake doesn't lose the rest of his life by spending 10 years in jail. Getting him back with his family and getting him back to a position where he could be a good contributing member of society.”

Parlatore represents Trump in his cases involving handling of classified material and the investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

DeDolph was the third of three U.S. military service members to plead guilty in the case, after Navy SEAL Adam Matthews admitted to hazing and assault charges and attempts to cover up the killing; Maxwell pleaded guilty to negligent homicide, hazing, and making false official statements; and Marine Raider Mario Madera-Rodriguez was convicted of hazing, making false official statements, conspiracy charges and involuntary manslaughter.