Somalis Get Life for Killing Missionaries

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A federal judge in Norfolk, Va. sentenced two Somali men to life in prison Monday for hijacking a yacht and killing the four Americans on board.

Last February, Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif., were using their yacht, the Quest, to deliver Bibles around the world along with friends Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle. It was their life-long dream to use their boat to spread the gospel.

District Judge Mark Davis said that by all accounts, the victims lived lives filled with "service and with kindness to those they encountered."

The missionaries were killed several days after being taken hostage nearly 300 miles south of Oman.

"Piracy is a scourge that threatens nations, commerce, and individual lives," U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement. "Today's sentences send a message to all those who participate in piracy that armed attacks on the high seas carry lifelong consequences."

Eleven Somali pirates pleaded guilty in the case. Each of the men face mandatory life sentences, although that could eventually be reduced as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Three other men are charged with murder and other death-penalty eligible charges.

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