Kidnapped Newport Beach dispensary owner testifies that captors tortured, mutilated him – Los Angeles Times


A marijuana dispensary owner testified that he awoke to a bright light just before intruders roused him from a couch in his Balboa Peninsula home the morning of Oct. 2, 2012.

“At first, I thought it was my friend who would go out [to] the bars and come home drunk,” he told an Orange County jury Monday.

The man muttered that he was trying to sleep and asked to be left alone. From the darkness, he heard a voice that didn’t belong to a friend.

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The then-28-year-old opened his eyes and gazed into a barrel of a shotgun illuminated with a mounted flashlight, according to his testimony.

The dispensary owner said he grabbed the barrel and tried to wrestle the weapon from the masked man.

After a short fight, an accomplice of the assailant grabbed the dispensary owner from behind, put him in a headlock and choked him until he lost consciousness.

The victim’s testimony in a Newport Beach courtroom came on the third day of the trial of Hossein Nayeri, 40, who is charged with two counts of kidnapping for extortion torture, aggravated mayhem and burglary.

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Prosecutors allege Nayeri and his co-conspirators — including Fountain Valley resident Kyle Shirakawa Handley, who was already convicted in the case — sought $1 million they incorrectly believed the dispensary owner had buried in the Mojave Desert.

The Daily Pilot is not identifying the dispensary owner because of the nature of the crime.

After the intruders blindfolded him, zip-tied his wrists and ankles and taped his mouth shut, the intruders dragged the dispensary owner down the stairs of his 25th Street home, his head bouncing off each step.

The dispensary owner and his landlord’s girlfriend, who was asleep in the house at the time, were thrown into what they described as a cargo van and driven

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