An ex-U.S. Army sniper and two other former American soldiers were convicted Wednesday in the contract killing of a real estate agent in the Philippines for an international crime boss who believed the woman had cheated him on a land deal.
Joseph Hunter — who is already serving 20 years over a plot to kill a federal agent — Adam Samia and Carl David Stillwell were all found guilty of murder-for-hire, along with other charges. The trio previously denied they planned the 2012 hit — a case that’s provided an inside glimpse into the secret fraternity of private mercenaries willing to kill for cash.
“This horrifying real-life murder-for-hire case included details usually seen in action movies,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement. “Hunter, Samia, and Stillwell conspired to end the lives of people overseas whom they had never met.”
Prosecutors said Hunter, 52, was working as a security chief for weapons and drug trafficker Paul Le Roux when he recruited Samia and Stillwell to travel to the Philippines for “ninja work.” The pair claimed Hunter provided firearms and silencers and told them Le Roux would pay them $35,000 each to carry out the fatal deed.
Samia, 43, and Stillwell, 50, pretended to be potential clients of the broker.
Samia used a .22-caliber gun and killed the broker by shooting her twice in the face while she sat in the back seat of a van, according to prosecutors.
After collecting their pay, her killers were ordered back to the U.S. and arrested back in 2015.
All three face up to life in prison.