Supreme Court upholds conviction of a man for his role on an international hit team

Jun 23, 2023, 7:59 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The conviction of a man serving a life sentence for his role on an international “kill team” in a case about what happens when one person’s confession might also implicate someone else on trial.

Adam Samia’s lawyers had asked the court for a new trial in the killing of a real estate broker in the Philippines because they said he was convicted on the basis of a confession from another man with whom he was on trial.

The confession unfairly implicated Samia as the trigger man, in violation of his constitutional rights, Samia’s lawyers said. The co-defendant did not testify in his own defense so there was no opportunity for Samia’s trial lawyers to question the man.

But the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, said prosecutors had done enough to protect Samia’s rights. The confession was altered to substitute “someone” or “the other person” every time Samia’s name was mentioned. The jury also was told not to consider the confession in assessing Samia’s guilt.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his majority opinion that there was no violation of the constitutional provision that gives a defendant the right to confront his accuser.

Thomas said Samia did not deserve a new trial because the confession “did not directly inculpate the defendant and was subject to a proper limiting instruction.”

The court’s three liberal justices dissented. Justice Elena Kagan wrote that the majority decision “undermines a vital constitutional protection for the accused.”

Samia was tried with two other men who carried out the attack on the orders of Paul LeRoux, a South African who led an international crime organization and cooperated with federal authorities after his arrest in 2012.

LeRoux ordered the killing of the broker, Catherine Lee, because he believed Lee had stolen money from him.

The Supreme Court has previously imposed limits on the use of a confession in these circumstances, including that the defendant’s name has to be removed and cannot simply be replaced with the notation “redacted.” In Samia’s trial, he was described in the confession as “someone” and “the other person.”

United States News

Associated Press

3 Columbia University administrators put on leave over alleged text exchange at antisemitism panel

NEW YORK (AP) — Columbia University said it has placed three administrators on leave while it investigates allegations that they exchanged unprofessional text messages while attending a panel discussion about antisemitism on campus. The university said the administrators work for its undergraduate Columbia College, which hosted the panel discussion “Jewish Life on Campus: Past, Present […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Man charged in shooting that critically wounded Philadelphia officer, police say

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 36-year-old Philadelphia man was charged Sunday with attempted murder in connection with a shooting that critically wounded a police officer after a traffic stop, police said. Ramon Rodriguez Vazquez also faces charges that include aggravated assault and home invasion, police said. The 31-year-old officer and his partner stopped a car carrying […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

California boy, 4, who disappeared from campground found safe after 22 hours alone in wilderness

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A 4-year-old California boy who wandered away from a campground in the Sierra National Forest was found safe after spending 22 hours alone in the wilderness, authorities said. A search-and-rescue team of about 50 officers and volunteers set out around 11 a.m. Thursday after the child was reported missing from the […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

One man died and five others were hospitalized in downtown St. Louis shooting

ST. LOUIS (AP) — One man is dead and five others have been wounded in a downtown St. Louis shooting, police said. Police believe women were fighting in a park when men interfered and drew firearms, according to social media posts from the agency. The man who died was in his mid-twenties, police said. Five […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Michigan sheriff’s deputy fatally shot pursuing a stolen vehicle in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan county sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot while pursing a suspected stolen vehicle in Detroit, the Oakland County sheriff’s office said Sunday. Bradley J. Reckling, who was on duty in an unmarked car, was following a 2022 Chevy Equinox Saturday evening after the vehicle was reported stolen earlier in the day […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Authorities search in rural Colorado for suspect in shooting that left 1 dead, 2 injured

ALAMOSA, Colorado (AP) — Officers went door to door in a rural area of southern Colorado on Sunday as aircraft searched overhead for a man suspected of shooting three people, killing one, and then fleeing on foot into farmland after a failed carjacking. Suspect Henry Corral, 44, should be considered armed and dangerous, said police […]

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

Supreme Court upholds conviction of a man for his role on an international hit team