Somali pirates sentenced in Va. to life in prison

RICHMOND, VA (AP) - Five Somali men convicted of piracy for attacking a U.S. Navy ship off Africa's coast have been sentenced to life in prison.

The men were also sentenced Monday to serve an additional 80 years in prison on other charges related to the attack on the USS Nicholas.

Defense lawyers had argued the men were innocent fishermen who had been abducted by pirates and forced to fire their weapons at the ship.

Most of the men said through an interpreter they wanted to appeal to the conviction and sentencing.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.