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Jury Rejects Death Penalty For Somali Pirates

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

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.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.

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