Jury Rejects Death Penalty For Somali Pirates

Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, on a yacht in Bodega Bay, Calif., in 2005. The two were part of a group hijacked by Somali pirates off the coast of Oman in February 2011. i i

Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, on a yacht in Bodega Bay, Calif., in 2005. The two were part of a group hijacked by Somali pirates off the coast of Oman in February 2011. Joe Grande/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Grande/AP
Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, on a yacht in Bodega Bay, Calif., in 2005. The two were part of a group hijacked by Somali pirates off the coast of Oman in February 2011.

Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, on a yacht in Bodega Bay, Calif., in 2005. The two were part of a group hijacked by Somali pirates off the coast of Oman in February 2011.

Joe Grande/AP

A Virginia jury has recommended life in prison for three Somali pirates convicted of murdering four Americans seized from a sailing yacht off the coast of Africa in 2011.

The prosecution had sought the death penalty for Ahmed Muse Salad, Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar, who were convicted last month of piracy, murder and kidnapping.

The three were among 19 men who attacked the 58-foot S/V Quest with the intent of ransoming her crew: retired U.S. couple Jean and Scott Adam; and two friends, Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay.

When negotiations broke down, however, the four were shot and killed.

The victims were the first Americans killed in a wave of piracy that has plagued the Somali Coast and the Indian Ocean in recent years.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.