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Jury set to decide sentence of Somali pirates

July 31, 2013

NORFOLK, Virginia (AP) — A Virginia jury will deliberate the sentence of three Somali pirates convicted in the 2011 shooting deaths of four Americans off the coast of Africa.

Closing arguments concluded Wednesday in the sentencing of Ahmed Muse Salad, Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar. They could face the death penalty.

The sentencing phase began July 22. A jury will deliberate their fate starting Thursday.

The yacht’s owners, Jean and Scott Adam of California and their friends, Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Washington state, were killed several days after they were taken hostage at sea.

A jury found the Somalis guilty of all 26 charges, including piracy, which carries a mandatory life sentence. In all, 22 counts that they were convicted of are eligible for the death penalty.

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