SEOUL — A former U.S. soldier imprisoned in South Korea on a murder conviction was released this summer, both South Korean and U.S. authorities confirmed Friday.

Former Pvt. Kenneth L. Markle was supposed to be released in early 2008 but was freed on Aug. 14 with two years and nine months of time left on his sentence, the South Korea Ministry of Justice confirmed Friday.

Markle’s release drew attention last week when a member of Korea’s National Assembly criticized the move, saying Markle had not shown model behavior as a prisoner. On Aug. 15, Markle boarded a plane for the States and was separated from the military, a U.S. Forces Korea spokesman said.

Markle’s case sparked debate and protests in the early 1990s after he was accused of brutally attacking a South Korean woman.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now