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Iraq war veteran charged with killing his Wisconsin cop wife

By Brendan O'Brien

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A decorated U.S. Iraq War veteran was charged on Thursday with gunning down his wife, a Wisconsin police officer, in a parking lot as she was on patrol duty the day before Christmas.

Benjamin Sebena, 30, who faces one count of first-degree intentional homicide, is accused of shooting his wife, Jennifer, 30, five times outside a fire station in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa early Monday.

Benjamin Sebena "laid in wait" for his wife for several hours and when she left the building, he shot her, according to the criminal complaint. He fired twice with a 9 millimeter handgun. Then he grabbed her service revolver, a .40 caliber, and shot her with that three times more.

Jennifer Sebena had told a fellow police officer earlier in December that she had been a victim of domestic violence and that her husband had put a gun to her head, the complaint said.

"He stated he had been jealous of other men with regards to his wife," investigators wrote in the complaint.

The ex-Marine from Wisconsin served two tours in Iraq, according to a testimonial video that he appeared in for his church in 2010.

On the video, the Purple Heart recipient describes recommitting himself to God after having his leg, arm and chest injured during a 2005 mortar attack in Ramadi, Iraq that took the life of a friend.

"I was a Marine. We're trained to kill. We're trained that death is OK. (I) wasn't trained how to deal with the death, but we're definitely trained to kill," he said, speaking from a church pew.

The couple met online when he was in Iraq and began exchanging emails while he was in recovering from his injuries in California. The two began dating after he returned to Wisconsin.

Sebena was interviewed for a story in the 2010 edition of the VAnguard, a magazine published by a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In the article, Sebena is said to have been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

A Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge set a $1 million cash bond for Sebena and scheduled a preliminary hearing for January 3.

(Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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