California pot grower, 41, bags three life sentences for kidnap and torture of a marijuana dispensary owner – Hossein Nayeri fled to Iran before being lured to Czech Republic, arrested and extradited to US
“[Hossein Nayeri], is literally the poster child for how evil a person can be and still be in this form we call a human figure” – Orange County DA
In 2019, Nayeri, a Newport Beach pot grower, was convicted for the 2012 kidnapping and torture of a marijuana dispensary owner
Nayeri, 41, and two friends from high school Kyle Handley and Ryan Kevorkian, abducted the victim and another woman with the intention of locating $1million the target supposedly buried in the desert
Nayeri, Handley, and Kevorkian drove their hostages to the desert and demanded the man pay up – No money was found
The victim had his penis severed and was assaulted by Nayeri and his two pals before they abandoned the bound hostages in Mojave Desert – The victims survived, but the man’s missing body part was never located
Handley, who was first to be put on trial, was convicted in 2018 and sentenced to serve four life terms in prison
Ryan Kevorkian and his now estranged wife, Naomi Rhodus, are awaiting trial
Rhodus was accused of purchasing the weapons used in the kidnapping and helping to rent the van the crew used
After the extortion plot, Nayeri fled to Iran, but authorities persuaded his then-wife, Cortney Shegerian, to cooperate and help bring him to justice
In 2014, Shegerian persuaded Nayeri to meet her in the Czech Republic, where he was arrested and extradited to US for trial
Two years later, Shegerian and two men connected to Vietnamese gangs escaped an Orange County jail once again
He was captured a week later
A California court Friday sentenced a local pot grower to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Hossein Nayeri of Newport Beach, received two consecutive life sentences as well as a third sentence of between seven years and life imprisonment on Friday for what prosecutors referred to as a ‘diabolical’ crime, the Orange County Register reports.
Nayeri, 41, broke out from jail after he was convicted of kidnapping and mutilating a medical marijuana dealer in 2012 before leaving him in the Mojave Desert.
The fugitive was back in custody in 2016, after his then-wife, Cortney Shegerian, who was secretly cooperating with police, convinced him to travel from Iran to the Czech Republic, where he was arrested and extradited back to the United States.
Two years after his extradition and awaiting trial, Nayeri staged another flight from custody.
In 2016, two years after his extradition to the US, Nayeri, who was awaiting trial, and two other inmates at Orange County jail escaped from their cells. He was later recaptured.
Nayeri was convicted in 2019 by a jury last year in the 2012 fatal abduction scheme he carried out with the help of two high school friends
The trio were bent on locating $1million they believed their target had buried in the Mojave desert. No money was ever found.
The three broke into a Newport Beach home and tied up the dispensary owner, along with the girlfriend of the man who owned the house, and forced them into a van.
During a drive into the desert, the men tortured the dispensary owner with rubber piping, a stun gun and a blow torch, demanding he give them the $1million, ignoring his pleas that he didn’t have the money.
When they arrived in the desert, the kidnappers cut off the dispensary owner’s penis. They then left the injured man and the woman, Mary Barnes, still bound, behind and drove off.
The woman and dispensary owner survived, though authorities were unable to recover his missing body part.
High school chums Kyle Handley, Ryan Kevorkian and Hossein Nayeri conspired in the execution of the diabolical robbery plot, according to court papers.
Handley, who was the first to be put on trial, was convicted in 2018 and sentenced to four life terms in prison.
The third kidnapper Ryan Kevorkian and his now estranged wife, Naomi Rhodus, who provided support are awaiting trial.
Investigators ultimately identified Nayeri, Kyle Handley, and Ryan Kevorkian as the main suspects.
With Handley and Nayeri now behind bars for the rest of their lives, the other two co-conspirators will know their fate after their trial.
Rhodus prosecutors said, purchased the weapons used in the kidnapping. She also helped to rent the van used in the crime.
The former couple who have been cooperative and were willing to testify against Nayeri if needed, according to prosecutors, likely will take plea deals.
Nayeri ‘assembled this crew of miscreants to commit this horrible crime,’ Matt Murphy, an Orange County prosecutor, said on Friday.
‘Nayeri is a psychopath,’ Murphy said after the sentencing. Adding, ‘He is a truly diabolical criminal.’
As the suspects were taken into custody, Nayeri fled to Iran , avoiding arrest after the kidnapping. He was was ultimately arrested in 2014.
Nayeri’s now ex-wife, Cortney Shegerian, had managed to persuade the fugitive to fly to the Czech Republic, where they met while she was secretly working with authorities.
Authorities in US had determined they could have Nayeri extradited back to the United States if he agreed to fly to the Czech Republic to meet Shegerian.
While awaiting trial, Nayeri teamed up with two other inmates to lead a daring escape from Orange County jail, spending a little more than a week on the run before being recaptured.
In March, Nayeri’s ex-wife described how her abusive then-husband compelled her to help him in the brutal plan.
Speaking to ABC’s 20/20, Shegerian recounted how Nayeri became ‘obsessed’ with planning the October 2012 kidnapping of the victim.
When her husband was flagged as a suspect in the kidnapping and torture case, Shegerian said she got a chance to make things right for herself and help get justice for the pot dispensary owner and Barnes.
Shegerian had already divorced Nayeri by the time he was extradited back to the US in 2014 to stand trial for the kidnapping and torture case.
She also had the marriage annulled and said that she had feared for her life.
When Nayeri briefly escaped with two other inmates with ties to Vietnamese gangs,
Shegerian, who already by then had divorced him and annulled her marriage, said she feared for her life.
‘I became hysterical,’ Shegerian said about the moment she learned Nayeri had escaped in January 2016.
‘It was my worst nightmare coming alive. He’s going to kill me. There’s no doubt in my mind.’
However, he was captured a week later.
Nayeri reportedly, will remain in local lockup for now, before heading off to prison, because he faces a trial for his alleged escape.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said his office will “make sure” that Nayeri pays for every single crime he committed.
“There is no one who deserves to die in prison more than Mr. Nayeri,” Spitzer said after the sentencing. “He is literally the poster child for how evil a person can be and still be in this form we call a human figure.”
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