Somali Gets Life in Prison for US Yacht Hijacking

6 years 3 months 2 weeks ago Monday, August 22 2011 Aug 22, 2011 Monday, August 22, 2011 11:44:00 AM CDT August 22, 2011 in News
By: Associated Press

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A Somali man was sentenced to life in prison on Monday for his role in the hijacking of yacht off the coast of Africa that left all four Americans on board dead, telling a federal judge that he never meant for anyone to get hurt.

"I'd like to express my regret and sorrow to the victims' families," Ali Abdi Mohamed said through an interpreter.

Mohamed is the first of 11 men who have pleaded guilty to piracy in the case to be sentenced. Each of the men face mandatory life sentences, although that could eventually be reduced as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors. A second Somali was expected to be sentenced later in the day.

The owners of the Quest, Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif., along with friends Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle, were shot to death in February several days after being taken hostage several hundred miles south of Oman. They were the first Americans to be killed in a wave of piracy that has plagued the Indian Ocean in recent years.

The pirates said they intended to bring the Americans back to Somalia so that they could be ransomed, but that plan fell apart when four U.S. Navy warships began shadowing them. The Navy offered to let the pirates take the yacht in exchange for the hostages, but the pirates said they wouldn't get the kind of money they wanted for it. Hostages are typically ransomed for millions of dollars.

Mohamed told prosecutors he was ordered to fire a rocket propelled grenade at the American warships to keep them away from the Quest. Court documents say that in doing so, he inadvertently killed one of the pirates who was standing too close behind him. Shortly after the RPG was fired, gun fire erupted aboard the yacht.

Court records say three of the men shot at the Americans and that stray bullets they had fired killed another pirate. Mohamed said he another pirate rushed downstairs to where the Americans were being held to wrestle the weapons of the shooters away and to get them to stop shooting, but it was too late.

Mohamed said that even though he didn't shoot the Americans, he hopes their families will forgive him. None of the victims' family members were present Monday, but they sent in numerous letters saying that their loss has been devastating. District Judge Mark Davis said that by all accounts, the victims lived lives filled with "service and with kindness to those they encountered."

The Adams had spent much of their time delivering Bibles around the world.

Three men are charged with murder and other death-penalty eligible charges. A fourth man also faces piracy charges for acting as a land-based negotiator for the band of pirates.

Mohamed and the others have agreed to help prosecutors in those cases and possibly others.

In all, 19 men boarded the Quest. When American forces boarded the boat, all but two men surrendered. Those two were shot and killed by U.S. forces.

U.S. authorities released one person because he was believed to have been a juvenile.

The prison Mohamed and the others will be sent to hasn't been determined.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA -It's a topic that many people shy away from, but one man came to Columbia to talk about suicide.... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 8:25:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Terron Wings says he considers himself blessed he can now call himself an “American taxpayer.” Wings, 37,... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:27:27 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education voted to approved ballot language for a $30 million bond issue Monday night... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:01:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – High winds and dry conditions warranted additional safety precautions for fire safety Monday in central Missouri. The... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 6:04:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
RENICK – The Beamer family was on the porch of their Randolph County home at the beginning of the storm... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 5:21:35 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
ROCHEPORT - Consolidated Water issued a boil order advisory for parts of Howard County Monday due to a water main... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 4:29:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
ORONOGO (AP) — Homeowners living near a gun range in southwest Missouri are concerned about stray bullets that have been... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:32:30 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - When someone goes to the doctor for a checkup, they might expect the regular look at their eyes,... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:15:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's attorney general is weighing whether to appoint a special investigator to check into use of... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 2:45:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - One MU Nursing School program has reduced the number of nursing home patients from hospitalization by nearly 50... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 2:24:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- The Missouri Attorney General's office is forming an advisory board to develop the first statewide program in Missouri that... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 12:22:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The city plans to begin repairing base failures in the Thornbrook Subdivision beginning Dec. 11 at 8 a.m.... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 11:34:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri state representative has filed more legislation which would redefine "marriage" as a "contract of domestic... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 11:22:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Monday is the final day to donate to Columbia Parks and Recreation’s Almeta Crayton Memorial Toy Drive. ... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 10:58:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he wants his five new appointees to the state veterans... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 10:50:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - UPDATE: 1:44 P.M. A police officer confirmed white paint footprints are related to Monday's investigation. The police officer... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:34:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Nearly four years ago to the day, local business owner Linda Bonebrake was diagnosed with severe sepsis at... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 6:47:00 PM CST December 10, 2017 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Bird lovers got an up close look at birds typically seen in their backyards Sunday. It... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 5:36:00 PM CST December 10, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 42°
11pm 39°
12am 37°
1am 35°
2am 32°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
10:30p
Rules of Engagement
11:00p
Rules of Engagement
11:30p
The King of Queens

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
Better Late Than Never
7:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
8:00p
Valor
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld