MANILA, Philippines – Three former United States (US) Army soldiers were convicted on Wednesday, April 18, for killing a real estate agent in the Philippines upon the orders of an international crime lord who thought the Filipino woman had cheated him in a transaction.
According to The New York Times, Joseph Hunter – a former US Army sergeant with Special Forces training – Adam Samia and Carl Stillwell were found guilty of charges connected to the 2012 murder of Catherine Lee.
The verdict by a jury in Manhattan’s Federal District Court follows a 3-week trial of a case built on the testimony of the crime lord himself, Paul Le Roux, who began to cooperate with the government after his 2012 arrest by the Drug Enforcement Administration in Liberia.
The New York Times report said Le Roux recounted that, in early 2012, he asked Hunter to arrange the murder of Lee. Hunter then reached out to Samia, a onetime Army sniper, and Stillwell, a firearms instructor.
The same report said that, according to flight records, Samia and Stillwell traveled to Manila weeks later, pretended to be property buyers, and took Lee to the countryside outside Manila where they “shot her in the face then dumped her body on a pile of garbage on the road.”
The Associated Press reported that Hunter provided the firearms and silencers. He also told the two men that Le Roux would pay them $35,000 each.
All 3 earlier pleaded not guilty and denied the charges against them.
“This horrifying real-life murder-for-hire case included details usually seen in action movies,” US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement reported by the Associated Press.
“Hunter, Samia, and Stillwell conspired to end the lives of people overseas whom they had never met.” – Rappler.com
US soldier image via Shutterstock