sailing yacht quest

S/Y Quest in 2011, photo by Jean Adam

reuters_logo1By Gary Robertson

NORFOLK, Va., Nov 14 (Reuters) – The last of the Somali pirates convicted of killing four Americans aboard a yacht sailing off the Horn of Africa in 2011 have been sentenced in federal court to multiple life sentences, authorities said on Thursday.

Prosecutors originally sought the death penalty, but the jury that found the men guilty in July of piracy, hijacking and murder recommended life sentences instead.

The victims were retiree Scott Adam, 70, of Marina del Rey, California, with his wife Jean Adam, and two friends, Phyllis Macay and Robert Riggle of Seattle. They were sailing around the world distributing Bibles.

Pirates boarded the yacht on Feb. 18, 2011. Prosecutors said the hijackers intended to take their hostages to Somalia and hold them for ransom.

After getting a distress signal from the craft, the U.S. Navy dispatched vessels to the Americans’ aid.

After four days, during which negotiations between the Navy and the pirates broke down, the pirates fired a rocket-propelled grenade toward one of the Navy vessels, the USS Sterett.

Gunfire broke out on the yacht, and Navy SEALs went aboard in an unsuccessful attempt to save the hostages. They died on Feb. 22, 2011.

In U.S. District Court, Abukar Osman Beyle, 33, and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar, 31, and Ahmed Muse Salad, 27, were each given 21 life prison sentences, plus 30 years, this week, according to a statement from Dana Boente, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

“The multiple, consecutive life sentences imposed today send a clear message that piracy, hostage-taking, and murder on the high seas will not be tolerated,” Boente said in the statement.

Besides the three Somali men sentenced this week, 11 others who were captured aboard the sailboat have pleaded guilty and are serving life sentences as well. (Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Ken Wills)

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  • Bruce Terence Padgett

    Death!

  • Bruce Terence Padgett

    Death!

  • Kenny Williamson

    The US Navy used to hang pirates. Now we give them 3 hots and a cot for the rest of their lives. They will live better in a US prison than Somalia.

  • Kenny Williamson

    The US Navy used to hang pirates. Now we give them 3 hots and a cot for the rest of their lives. They will live better in a US prison than Somalia.

  • Kenny Williamson

    The US Navy used to hang pirates. Now we give them 3 hots and a cot for the rest of their lives. They will live better in a US prison than Somalia.

  • Kenny Williamson

    The US Navy used to hang pirates. Now we give them 3 hots and a cot for the rest of their lives. They will live better in a US prison than Somalia.

  • Kenny Williamson

    The US Navy used to hang pirates. Now we give them 3 hots and a cot for the rest of their lives. They will live better in a US prison than Somalia.

  • Kenny Williamson

    The US Navy used to hang pirates. Now we give them 3 hots and a cot for the rest of their lives. They will live better in a US prison than Somalia.

  • Jeff Snow

    Hang em

  • Jeff Snow

    Hang em

  • Robert Lindsay

    They don’t deserve the prison life with free medical , 3 hots and a cot and free HBO at taxpayers expense . I seen the boat after it was shot up .

  • Brian Davis

    Nope. Put them to death in a humanitarian way,.

  • Brian Davis

    Nope. Put them to death in a humanitarian way,.

  • Ivor Lewis

    Last of the last gang caught maybe!

  • James E Cooke

    I think they should be taken back to the scene of the crime and bled out…

  • David Mitchell

    Life in an American Prison, even a federal one is a better lifestyle than they would have back in Somalia. The message we are sending is “Come let us take care of you”

  • Christopher McDonald

    Geez, distributing Bibles ? I’d say an old fashioned stoning would be appropriate.

  • Marty Maier

    Fuckers need to burn in hell

  • Noah Smelcer

    Drop 300 miles offshore and make sure no one picks them up

  • Jeffry Gilbert

    Life in a SuperMAX prison will be much worse than death. Appropriate sentence.

  • Jeffry Gilbert

    Life in a SuperMAX prison will be much worse than death. Appropriate sentence.

  • Joe Semon

    I don’t believe in life sentences nor believe it is societies responsibility to provide sustenance to unreformable criminals. I am all for dropping those given life sentences on a remote Arctic island.

  • James Bailey

    Whose bullets killed the hostages? The article doesn’t say?

  • Wade Spaulding

    I am in favor of the British Navy’s methods of handing them outside of the ports that harbored them.

  • Jamie Gaspard

    They need to be put in water and chain whipped dry and then hung until ther feet stop wiggling

  • Hugh Smith

    First off how prudent is sailing in these waters on a sailboat. I am not sure that I understand the bible part of this story. That sounds like a mildly retarded thing to do for folks that has been sailing for many years around the world. Would like to read the court transcript on this. If you watch the movie Capt Phillips it did Americans no favors as the US Navy is know known for “Tricks”.

  • Patrick F. Geiger

    Kill them all at sea and let god sort them out. Compared to Somalia, they are now living large off of the US tax payer.

  • Thomas E. Graham

    Hang them on a yardarm..

  • Thomas E. Graham

    Hang them on a yardarm..

  • Quintin Leong

    they need to hung!

  • Kenny Williamson

    I know where that boat is, well you do too.

  • Mike Hogan

    The only appropriate sentence for piracy AND slavery is hanging. These two consummate evils are increasing because the West has got too soft. These sins are not those of a moment’s weakness – they are evil coldly planned with no regard for God or Humanity and deserve death and hell.

  • William Brandhorst

    I have a hard time thinking about the people they killed and the pirates get better conditions in prison they have in their homeland. Not only that, it costs the taxpayer $135,000 dollars a year to keep an inmate in jail. The Navy never should have let them survive.

  • Joseph Di Raffaele

    This’s a politically correct sentence,they would deserve to be hanged.

  • Joseph Di Raffaele

    I don’ t think, these scumbags will have an easy life in jail, unless in solitary confinement also for life.

  • Fred Stonehouse

    Give them the Texas Two Step!

  • Fred Stonehouse

    Give them the Texas Two Step!

  • P.j. Familyfirst Jeandron

    I Just hope they televise it!

  • Jamie Faulkner

    That yacht shouldnt have been anywhere near that area, its like walking through Africa with a million dollars taped on your forehead; of course nobody deserves to be murdered in such an apalling way. I am also a little suspicous of the what the Amercian military says is the chain of events. Bungled hosatge rescue, maybe? Its happened before, for instance see how the US Navy SEALS accidently killed Linda Norgrove.

  • Jamie Faulkner

    That yacht shouldnt have been anywhere near that area, its like walking through Africa with a million dollars taped on your forehead; of course nobody deserves to be murdered in such an apalling way. I am also a little suspicous of the what the Amercian military says is the chain of events. Bungled hosatge rescue, maybe? Its happened before, for instance see how the US Navy SEALS accidently killed Linda Norgrove.

  • Bill Boucher

    Let’s not forget, these devils murdered 4 American Citizens and should have gotten the chair.

  • Bill Boucher

    Let’s not forget, these devils murdered 4 American Citizens and should have gotten the chair.

  • Michael Shanley

    Death is the only acceptable sentence for all of them.

  • Michael Shanley

    Death is the only acceptable sentence for all of them.

  • Barbara Tinkle

    They should have been hanged on the spot…there was no question of guilt. Now they’re being housed permanently at taxpayer expense. Piracy is & should be a death sentence!

  • Duke Wavewalker

    why weren’t they executed…in the same fashion as they victims?

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