RealNews

Six Cuban men found guilty of hijacking

A jury convicted six Cuban men this afternoon of hijacking a passenger plane from Havana and commandeering it to Key West. After deliberating for six hours over two days, the 12-member jury found all six men guilty of air piracy. The convicted hijackers — Alexis Norniella Morales, Eduardo Mejia Morales, Yainer Olivares Samon, Neudis Infantes Hernandez, Alvenis Arias Izquierdo and Miakel Guerra Morales — face a minimum of 20 years in prison on the air piracy charge and a maximum of life in prison. In a rare show of cooperation with U.S. prosecutors, Cuban authorities allowed some of the crewmembers aboard the plane to return to South Florida to testify against the six defendants. Pilot Daniel Blas Corria Sánchez told the jury that Norniella, the accused ringleader, burst into the cockpit minutes before the DC-3 was to land in Havana from Nueva Gerona on Cuba’s Isle of Youth. Corría said Norniella held a knife to his throat and ordered him to divert the plane to Florida. Another crewmember testified that some of the hijackers said they were holding women and children against their will in the passenger cabin. Full Story

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