SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A U.S. appeals court has upheld the convictions and death sentences of two men found guilty in a kidnapping-for-ransom scheme in California that left five people dead.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously on Wednesday that the evidence that Iouri Mikhel and Jurijus Kadamovas abducted, held hostage, and killed five people between 2001 and 2002 was detailed, comprehensive and overwhelming.
Prosecutors say the men received a little more than $1 million in ransom while targeting Russian immigrants and dumped their bodies in a reservoir outside Yosemite National Park.
A federal jury convicted them in 2007 of hostage-taking resulting in death and other charges and a judge sentenced them to death.
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Emails for comment to attorneys for the men were not immediately returned.