A 42-year-old man who admitted to his role in the kidnapping, torture and sexual mutilation of a Newport Beach marijuana dispensary owner was sentenced this week to 12 years and four months in state prison.
Ryan Anthony Kevorkian pleaded guilty Wednesday, May 27, to two felony kidnapping charges along with felony counts of burglary and assault, court records show. He was given credit for the time already served behind bars in county jail since his November 2013 arrest.
Kevorkian’s attorney, Michael Molfetta, acknowledged that Kevorkian got involved in something he knew was wrong, but said his client had no way of knowing it would turn into one of the most grisly crimes in recent Orange County history.
Kevorkian has accepted responsibility for his role and straightforward with investigators and prosecutors, the defense attorney said.
“He always took the blame for what occurred,” Molfetta said. “His involvement, relative to the others, warranted a different sentence.”
Hossein Nayeri is accused of being the mastermind behind the 2012 abduction of a man and a woman, carrying it out with the aid of two high school friends to find a nonexistent $1 million the group apparently believed the marijuana dispensary owner had buried in the Mojave desert.
Prosecutors have described Nayeri as a “psychopath” who assembled a crew of “miscreants” driven by greed.
“The viciousness of it, the way it was carried out and those things that were done to the victim, that has Nayeri written all over it,” Molfetta said in a Thursday interview. “It is so horrible, it is so senseless.”
Kevorkian first met Nayeri – along with fellow co-defendants Kyle Handley and Naomi Rhodus – at Clovis West High School in Fresno. Nayeri and Handley became pot growers, and Handley met the dispensary owner who would become the victim of the kidnapping