United States Fourth Circuit

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US v. Beyle, 13-4895

Defendants, who were part of a group of pirates who seized a yacht off the coast of Somalia and captured four Americans on board, were each convicted and given multiple life sentences for twenty-six criminal counts arising from the armed abduction and murder of their four American hostages. Defendants challenge the district court's jurisdiction on grounds that the hostages were not killed on the "high seas." The judgment is affirmed in all respects, where: 1) the site of the murders, thirty to forty nautical miles from the Somali coast, lay on the high seas and thus beyond the territorial sea of any nation; 2) defendant Abrar was not denied his Fifth Amendment right to due process or his Sixth Amendment right to present witnesses material to his defense; and 3) the district court gave each of the defendants the fair trial that he deserved.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 04/03/2015
  • Published 04/03/2015


  • Wilkinson


  • United States Fourth Circuit


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