SANTA ANA, Calif. – A one-time fugitive who fled to Iran after kidnapping and torturing a marijuana dispensary owner in a vicious attack that left his victim permanently disfigured was sentenced today to two life sentences in state prison without the possibility of parole. He was also sentenced to a third life sentence with the possibility of parole.
Hossein Nayeri, 41, was convicted in August 2019 of two felony counts of kidnapping for ransom and one felony count of torture. The jury could not reach a verdict on a felony charge of aggravated mayhem and found an enhancement of infliction of great bodily injury was not true.
Nayeri is still facing trial for a brazen 2016 escape from the Orange County Jail. He and two other inmates are accused of orchestrating an escape from the county jail, kidnapping a cab driver, and forcing him to drive them to San Francisco. Nayeri and one of his co-defendants were captured after a homeless man recognized Nayeri from news coverage and alerted police. As an Orange County Supervisor, now District Attorney, Todd Spitzer led the effort to offer a $100,000 reward for the capture of the jail escapees and personally presented the reward to Matthew Hay-Chapman for providing the information that led to their arrests.
“The devastating depraved heart and extreme intelligence allowed this individual to inflict unimaginable horror on his victims,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Despite his best efforts to avoid capture, Orange County law enforcement was relentless in pursuing justice by orchestrating arrest halfway around the world, and then capturing him once again following his escape from the Orange County Jail in 2016. Today, the tortured stood up and confronted his torturer and watched a judge sentence him to two lifetimes behind bars. Today,