A former Blackwater contractor has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for the May 2009 shooting death of an unarmed Afghan civilian in Kabul.

His lawyers said Monday they intend to appeal his conviction.

Justin H. Cannon of Corpus Christi, Texas, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in March and will remain free while the case is appealed.

He and Christopher Drotleff of Virginia Beach shot at the rear of a vehicle on a dark road as it passed them near an accident. They were escorting their interpreters home without permission on one of the most dangerous roads in the world.

The men were providing weapons training as contractors with Paravant, a subsidiary of Blackwater Worldwide. Blackwater has since changed its name to Xe Corp. Drotleff was sentenced to three years in prison.