NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A jury has recommended that three Somali pirates be sentenced to life in prison in the slayings of four Americans killed aboard their yacht off the coast of Africa.
Prosecutors had sought the death penalty. But a federal jury in Norfolk, Va., recommended the only other possible sentence Friday for Ahmed Muse Salad, Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar. Formal sentencing will be this fall.
The three men were among 19 who boarded the yacht Quest in February 2011 in hopes of taking the Americans back to Somalia and ransoming them for millions of dollars.
The plan fell apart when the U.S. Navy began shadowing the sailing vessel. The yacht's owners, Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif., and their friends, Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle, were shot to death several days after they were taken hostage at sea.