A US jury on Tuesday recommended the death penalty for two men who led a deadly kidnapping-for-ransom scheme targeting Russian immigrants, whose bodies were found in a reservoir.
Jurors deliberated less than a day before deciding that Iouri Mikhel and Jurijus Kadamovas should die. Last month, the jury convicted the men of three counts of hostage-taking resulting in death and three counts of conspiracy.
Prosecutors said the men led a group that sought to kidnap rich Russian immigrants from Los Angeles in late 2001 and early 2002 and extort money from their families and friends. About $1.2 million was collected in ransom.
The five victims were killed regardless of whether the ransoms were paid, prosecutors said. The bodies were tied with weights and dumped near Yosemite National Park.