Somalis get 19 life sentences in piracy slayings

  • Article by: BROCK VERGAKIS
  • Associated Press
  • November 14, 2013 - 4:25 PM

NORFOLK, Va. — A federal judge in Virginia has sentenced two more Somali pirates to 19 consecutive life sentences in prison for their roles in the shooting deaths of four Americans.

Chief District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith sentenced Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar on Wednesday and Thursday. They each received the same sentence as Ahmed Muse Salad, who was sentenced on Tuesday. Prosecutors had originally sought the death penalty.

The three Somalis were convicted in the 2011 murders of the Americans aboard the yacht Quest off the coast of Africa. The men were among 19 who boarded the yacht in hopes of taking the Americans back to Somalia so they could be ransomed for millions of dollars. The plan fell apart when the U.S. Navy began shadowing the 58-foot sailboat.

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