A former U.S. Army sniper and two other ex-soldiers have gone on trial in New York on charges they became contract killers for an international crime boss.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Eagan said in opening statements Tuesday that Joseph Hunter recruited the others for a cold-blooded hit on a real estate agent in the Philippines in 2012.
Defense attorneys said in their openings that evidence against them was too weak to convict them. All three have pleaded not guilty to murder conspiracy.
The case is expected to offer a window into the clandestine world of private mercenaries willing to kill for money. The trafficker has pleaded guilty and agreed to testify for the government.
Hunter already is serving 20 years over a plot to kill a federal agent.