A 41-year-old California pot farmer who fled prison after being convicted in 2012 of kidnapping and mutilating a medical marijuana dealer before leaving him in the Mojave Desert has been sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.
Hossein Nayeri, 41, of Newport Beach, was given two consecutive life sentences and a third sentence of seven years to life imprisonment on Friday for what prosecutors called “ devilish ” behavior.
Nayeri was arrested in 2014 after his then-wife, Cortney Shegerian, who was secretly working with the police, convinced him to travel from Iran to the Czech Republic, where he was arrested and extradited to the United States.
Hossein Nayeri makes a statement just before he was sentenced to two consecutive life terms with no possibility of parole and sentenced to a third consecutive term of seven years to life for the kidnapping and torture of a Newport Beach cannabis dispensary owner and another woman
The verdict against Nayeri was handed down on Friday by Judge Gregg L. Prickett of the Orange County Superior Court at Harbor Justice Center Newport Beach in Newport Beach.
Nayeri fled to Iran and escaped arrest after the kidnapping. His then wife, Cortney Shegerian, who was secretly working with the police, persuaded him to meet her in the Czech Republic, where authorities arrested him and extradited him to the United States in 2014.
His sentence was reported by The Orange County Register.
A jury last year found Nayeri guilty of the 2012 kidnapping he carried out with the help of two high school friends in a plot to track down $ 1 million they believed the pharmacy owner had buried in the Mojave Desert.
Money has never been found.
The three broke into a house in Newport Beach and tied the owner of the pharmacy, along with the girlfriend of the man who owned the house, and forced them into a van.
On a drive through the desert, the men tortured the pharmacy owner with rubber pipes, a tranquilizer gun and a torch, demanded that he give them the $ 1 million, and ignored his pleas that he didn’t have the money.
Investigators eventually identified Nayeri, Kyle Handley and Ryan Kevorkian as the prime suspects. Handley (above), who was tried first, was convicted in 2018 and sentenced to four life sentences
Ryan Kevorkian and his estranged wife, Naomi Rhodus (left), await trial. Rhodus was charged with buying the weapons used in the kidnapping and helping to rent the van. Kevorkian is seen well
When they arrived in the desert, the kidnappers cut off the pharmacy owner’s penis.
They left him and the woman, Mary Barnes, still bound, and drove off.
The woman and the pharmacy owner survived, although authorities were unable to recover his missing body part.
Investigators eventually identified Nayeri, Kyle Handley and Ryan Kevorkian as the prime suspects.
Handley, who was tried first, was sentenced to four life sentences in 2018.
Kevorkian and his estranged wife, Naomi Rhodus, await their trial.
Rhodus was charged with buying the weapons used in the kidnapping and helping to rent the van.
Prosecutors have said that Kevoriak and Rhodus cooperated and were willing to testify against Nayeri if necessary.
The two will likely enter plea deals.
Matt Murphy, an Orange County district attorney, said Friday that Nayeri “brought this squad of miscreants together to commit this terrible crime.”
“Nayeri is a psychopath,” Murphy said after the conviction.
“He really is a diabolical criminal.”
In January 2016, he and other inmates escaped from an Orange County prison associated with Vietnamese gangs
Nayeri (center) is depicted with inmates Jonathan Tieu (left) and and Bac Duong (right), who organized a jailbreak together in Orange County, California, but were recaptured in January 2016.
Nayeri poses in a photo taken when he and two other inmates escaped from prison after his extradition to the US. He was later recaptured
Nayeri fled to Iran, but was eventually arrested. Nayeri’s now ex-wife, Cortney Shegerian, managed to persuade Nayeri to fly to the Czech Republic, where they met while secretly working with the authorities.
Police determined they could have Nayeri extradited to the United States if he agreed to fly to the Czech Republic to meet with Shegerian.
While awaiting trial, Nayeri teamed up with two other inmates to lead a daring escape from Orange County jail, having been on the run for just over a week before being recaptured.
In March, Nayeri’s ex-wife described how her then-husband assaulted her to aid him in the brutal scheme.
Shegerian told ABC’s 20/20 that her then-husband became ‘obsessed’ with planning the kidnapping of the victim in October 2012.
‘I was very relieved but to be honest I was so panicked, I mean I was just terrified when I thought if he could do this one time, he will figure out a way to do it again’, she said in the interview.
When her now ex-husband became a suspect in the kidnapping and torture case, Shegerian said she had the opportunity to make things right for herself and help get justice for the pot pharmacy owner and Barnes.
Shegerian had already been divorced from Nayeri by the time he was extradited to the US in 2014 to face the kidnapping and torture case. She also had the marriage annulled and said she feared for her life because of her. He is depicted during his arraignment
When Nayeri was extradited to the United States to face the kidnapping and torture case in 2014, he was incarcerated in Orange County Central Men’s Jail in California.
In January 2016, he briefly escaped with two other prisoners associated with Vietnamese gangs, but was captured a week later.
Shegerian, who had already divorced him by then and had her marriage annulled, said she feared for her life.
“I was getting hysterical,” Shegerian said when she learned that Nayeri had escaped.
‘It was my worst nightmare coming to life. He’s gonna kill me. I do not doubt it. ‘