Three Somali Pirates Standing Trial for 2011 Murder

Three Somali pirates are standing trial on charges of murdering four U.S. yachtsmen in February 2011. Jean and Scott Adam, Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay were taken hostage at sea when 18 Somali pirates boarded their yacht.
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
the-USS-Enterprise-007

Three Somali pirates are standing trial on charges of murdering four U.S. yachtsmen in February 2011.

Jean and Scott Adam, Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay were taken hostage at sea when 18 Somali pirates boarded their yacht. The incident was the first in which Americans were killed by pirates.

According to the Associated Press, prosecutors are seeking the death sentence for the three, who have pleaded not guilty, currently on trial. Twenty-two of the 26 charges against them carry execution as a possible punishment. Eleven other Somali pirates have pleaded guilty, and, as mandated by U.S. federal law, are serving life sentences.

A timeline of the incident that occurred more than two years ago provides insight as the trial plays out, although prosecutors and defense attorneys disagree about what happened eight days after pirates hijacked the yacht with the Americans aboard. A pirate fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the USS Sterett, which was following the yacht. Almost simultaneously, shots were fired inside the yacht’s cabin, resulting in the exchange of fire between the two parties that killed two pirates. The defendants’ attorney says the U.S. Navy snipers fired shots first, while prosecutors say the pirates did. Some of the pirates were detained on the USS Enterprise, pictured above, after the killings. 

Each of the American hostages was shot multiple times, and prosecutors say they were murdered in cold blood.

Attorney General Eric Holder is pursuing the death penalty in this case in an effort to keep other pirates away from U.S.-flagged vessels, the AP story says.

Related

Meridian-X-Spin_2

MOB: A Whistle in the Wind

Mark Wheeler went overboard a few minutes before midnight. He was in the middle of Lake Michigan, 30 miles offshore in 40 knots of wind. As he fumbled for the lanyard to inflate his lifejacket he watched his racing sailboat, Meridian X, disappear into the night at more than 18 ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Slapper stopper  When I came on deck at 0800 to hoist my colors on a visitors’ mooring recently, there was an awkward slop running in. This doesn’t trouble my Mason 44, which has a traditional counter ...read more

Tilly-1

Gear: Tilley Polaris Hat

A True Blue Tilley Sailing is all about fun in the sun, but it sometimes doesn’t take long to get too much of a good thing, especially when on a prolonged cruise or offshore passage. Enter the Tilley Polaris, the latest lid developed by iconic Canadian hat-maker Tilley. ...read more

Sand-TOWEL_MODEL-3

CGear Sand-Free Beach Towel

Sand Be Gone! The summer is hot and full of terrors—not the least of which is the sand that sticks in your beach towel in the hopes of a free ride back to your car or boat. Fortunately, there's now the CGear Sand-Free Beach Towel, engineered in polyester to not only dry quickly ...read more

01-Blowup-Tiwal2_sailing-(3)

Gear: Tiwal Inflatable Sailing Dinghy

Blow-up Boating A few years ago, the French company Tiwal arrived on U.S. shores with that most improbable of products, an inflatable sailing dinghy that actually sails the way a boat is supposed to. Now, nearly 1,000 Tiwal 3’s later, the company is back with its Tiwal 2, an ...read more

Koozy

Gear: 22 Below Koozie

Killer Koozie For all that sailors love the warmth of this time of year, that same warmth can also wreak havoc on their otherwise icy-cold beers. (Unless, of course, you drink them very, very fast. But we won’t go there.) To help deal with this terrible hardship, North ...read more

Cool-Specs

Gear: Gill's Race Fusion Sunglasses

Wicked Cool Specs Is there anything in the world of sailing more fun than a cool pair of shades? Heck, no! And it would hard to find a cooler pair than these new Race Fusion specs from longtime weather-gear manufacture Gill. In addition to looking great, they include a number of ...read more

North_new

Gear: North Sails Waterproof Pack

A few years ago, North Sails made a big push into the apparel business with all kinds of sharp-looking button-down shirts, shorts and fleeces. That doesn’t mean, though, that the North Sails Collection isn’t still plenty practical, as is evident in its new roll-over waterproof ...read more