Former U.S. Army Sniper, 2 Other Soldiers Convicted in Contract Killing of Woman for Cash in the Philippines

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Narong Sangnak/Epa/REX/Shutterstock (7966822d)
Alleged American Drug Trafficker Joseph Manuel Hunter (c) is Escorted by Thai Commandos As He Arrives at the Thai Police Aviation Division in Bangkok Thailand 26 September 2013 Us National Joseph Manuel Hunter 48 who is Wanted on Drug Trafficking Charges in the United States was Arrested by Officers From the Narcotics Suppression Bureau on the Phuket Island Southern Thailand on 25 September 2013.

A former U.S. Army sniper and two other ex-American soldiers were convicted Wednesday in the contract killing of a real estate agent in the Philippines for an international crime boss who thought the woman had cheated him on a land deal. Joseph Hunter, a onetime sergeant from Kentucky with a Special Forces background, Adam Samia and Carl David Stillwell were found guilty of murder-for-hire and other charges.

All three had denied they planned the 2012 execution-style hit – a case that’s provided an inside glimpse into the secret fraternity of private mercenaries willing to kill in cold blood 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 the 52-year-old Hunter, also known as “Rambo,” was working as a security chief for weapons and drug trafficker Paul Le Roux when he recruited Samia and Stillwell to travel from their homes in Roxboro, North Carolina, to the Philippines for what was called “ninja work.” They said Hunter provided firearms and silencers and told them Le Roux would pay them $35,000 a piece to get the job done.

Samia, 43, and Stillwell, 50, pretended to be potential clients of the broker. While returning from a trip to the countryside outside of Manila, Samia pulled out a .22-caliber gun and killed the broker by shooting her twice in the face as she sat in the back seat of a van, prosecutors said.

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SOURCE: CBS News, The Associated Press