NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- A federal jury has convicted five Somali men of piracy for the 2010 attack on the USS Ashland.
The verdict was issued in Norfolk on Wednesday. A piracy conviction carries a mandatory life sentence.
A federal judge had dismissed the piracy charges because the men never boarded or robbed the Virginia-based amphibious dock landing ship. But a federal appeals court reversed that decision, sending the case back to trial.
Defense attorneys had argued the men were returning to Somalia after ferrying refugees to Yemen when they came across the ship. They said an AK-47 was fired in the Ashland's direction to get its attention so it could help them.
The Navy returned fire, setting the men's skiff on fire and killing one.
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