UPDATE 11/14: 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.
NORFOLK (AP) --Three Somali pirates were given life sentences Friday for the 2011 shooting deaths of four Americans aboard their yacht off the coast of Africa.
The men -- Ahmed Muse Salad, Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar -- could have been given a death sentence by the federal jury in Norfolk.
Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif., and their friends, Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle, were killed several days after they were taken hostage at sea. The pirates originally wanted to bring the Americans to Somalia to ransom for millions of dollars.
Earlier this month, the jury found the Somalis guilty of 22 crimes that are eligible for the death penalty.