NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A California man who previously escaped from jail and was on the run for a week was convicted Friday of kidnapping and torturing a marijuana dispensary owner who he mistakenly believed had buried massive sums of revenue in the desert.
A jury in Newport Beach discovered Hossein Nayeri, 40, guilty of two counts of kidnapping and 1 count of torture in the 2012 abduction of the dispensary owner and his roommate’s girlfriend.
Authorities stated Nayeri and 3 other individuals plotted to kidnap and rob the man, who was bound and burned with a blow torch though his captors drove by means of the desert demanding the revenue. They reduce off his penis ahead of leaving him and the lady on the side of a road.
As element of their case, Orange County prosecutors alleged that Nayeri inflicted terrific bodily injury on the victim, but jurors didn’t obtain the enhancement to be accurate. The jury also didn’t attain a verdict on a mayhem charge, as 1 juror had doubts about whether or not Nayeri was personally involved in the genital mutilation, jury foreperson Beth Burbage stated.
Prosecutor Matt Murphy stated the kidnapping charges carry possible sentences of life with no parole.
“It’s hard to envision a case that is extra horrific than this 1,” Murphy told reporters immediately after the verdicts had been study. “Without a murder at the finish of it, this is about as poor as it gets.”
Nayeri swayed his head gradually from side to side though the verdicts had been study. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 11.
His lawyer, Salvatore Ciulla, declined to comment on the verdicts.
Although awaiting trial in 2016, Nayeri escaped from the Orange County jail with two other inmates and led authorities on a weeklong manhunt across the state ahead of becoming captured.
Nayeri is charged with kidnapping a cab driver in connection with that case and has but to stand trial.
In Newport Beach, the jury deliberated intensely for 4 days, with members shouting, slamming items and breaking into tears though suffering headaches, stomachaches and losing sleep, Burbage told reporters.
Jurors attempted once again early Friday to obtain consensus on the outstanding challenges but couldn’t, as 1 juror stated she nonetheless questioned Nayeri’s function in the mutilation, Burbage stated.
“We attempted anything — up and down and back and forth and sideways,” she stated. “I really feel like we did anything we possibly could.”
Nayeri testified throughout the trial that he had worked in the marijuana organization but denied involvement in the kidnapping.
Authorities stated 1 of his mates, Kyle Handley, had been developing marijuana for the dispensary owner and traveled with him on a trip to Las Vegas that led him to think the owner was wealthy and had stashed revenue in the desert.
Handley, Nayeri and two other mates then plotted the kidnapping and robbery, authorities stated.
Soon after the abduction, Newport Beach police linked a vehicle that had been parked outdoors the victim’s household that evening to Handley, and DNA proof at Handley’s household to Nayeri, who by that time had fled to Iran, authorities stated.
Nayeri was extradited to the U.S. in 2014 from the Czech Republic, exactly where he had stopped to transfer flights to meet up with household in Spain.
Handley was convicted in the case final year and sentenced to life with no parole.
Murphy stated the two other defendants had cooperated with authorities and had been not anticipated to stand trial.