Orange County District Attorney Press Release
For Immediate Release, Case # TBA: November 8, 2013
*One defendant fled to Iran and was arrested while traveling to Spain; a fourth man was charged in 2012 in this case
SANTA ANA – Three defendants have been arrested, including one who had fled to Iran, for the kidnapping, torture, and sexual mutilation of a marijuana dispensary owner whom they believed to be burying large amounts of cash in the desert.
Defendants Ryan Anthony Kevorkian, 34, and Naomi Josette Kevorkian, 33, were arrested today, Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, in Fresno by detectives from the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD). They are expected to be arraigned Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.
Defendant Hossein Nayeri, 34, was arrested yesterday, Nov. 7, 2013, in Prague, Czech Republic, by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. He will face extradition proceedings in the Czech Republic at a later date to be determined.
Defendant Kyle Shirakawa Handley, 34, was arrested and charged in October 2012. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Nov. 15, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
All four defendants are charged with two felony counts of kidnapping for ransom and one felony count each of aggravated mayhem, torture, and first degree residential burglary, with a sentencing enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury. All defendants are being held without bail and face a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.
This case was investigated by NBPD. The FBI assisted in the investigation by locating and arresting Nayeri. Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy is prosecuting this case.
Circumstances of the Crime
At the time of the crime, victim John Doe owned a lucrative marijuana dispensary business.
Prior to October 2012, John Doe took several marijuana growers, from whom he purchased marijuana for his dispensary, to Las Vegas for an extravagant and expensive weekend. Handley is accused of being among the growers who participated in the trip.
After the trip to Las Vegas, Handley is accused of telling friends Nayeri and Ryan Kevorkian that the victim was extremely wealthy. The defendants are accused of devising a plan to kidnap and rob John Doe.
Four weeks prior to the kidnapping, the defendants are accused of video surveiling the victim’s home and following him as he made frequent trips to the desert. John Doe regularly drove to the desert to discuss a possible investment deal, but the defendants are accused of wrongly believing that the victim was driving to the desert to bury large amounts of cash.
Approximately one week prior to the kidnapping, Nayeri is accused of committing a routine traffic violation in Newport Beach, and subsequently leading NBPD on a high-speed chase when they attempted a stop. He is accused of crashing his car and fleeing on foot, and was able to escape at that time. Inside the abandoned car, Nayeri is accused of leaving surveillance equipment and videos, which at that time had no criminal significance.
On Oct. 2, 2012, Handley, Nayeri, and Ryan Kevorkian are accused of entering John Doe’s home with the intent to kidnap and rob him. Once inside, they are accused of zip-tying the victim’s wrists and torturing him, including severely beating him. They are accused of kidnapping the victim and putting him in a van. They are also accused of zip-tying and kidnapping Jane Doe, who was John Doe’s roommate’s girlfriend who happened to be in the home at the time. Before fleeing the scene, they are accused of stealing a large amount of cash from the home.
The defendants are accused of driving the victims to the desert near the area where they believed John Doe was hiding money. They are accused of continuing to torture John Doe throughout the drive by burning him with a blow torch. Once in the desert, the defendants are accused of sexually mutilating the victim by cutting off his penis. They are accused of pouring bleach on the victim in an effort to destroy any DNA evidence and dumping both victims on the side of the road. Jane Doe was not physically harmed.
Handley, Nayeri, and Ryan Kevorkian are accused of fleeing the scene and taking the victim’s penis with them so that it could never be reattached. Jane Doe ran over a mile to a main road in the dark, while still bound with zip ties, and flagged down a police car.
John Doe spent an extensive period of time in the hospital recovering from his injuries.
Investigation and Arrests
NBPD began investigating this complex case and conducted a canvas on the neighborhood. A witness had been suspicious of a car parked outside John Doe’s home on Oct. 2, 2012, and documented the license plate. Handley is accused of being the registered owner of that car.
Handley is accused of being in possession of evidence from the crime in his home. Nayeri is accused of being linked to the crime through DNA found on that evidence. Two additional DNA profiles were found on the evidence but were unidentified at that time.
After Nayeri was identified as a suspect, NBPD determined the link between the kidnapping and the video surveillance equipment and footage found in the defendant’s vehicle a week before the crime.
After the crime, Nayeri is accused of fleeing to Iran, where he is accused of remaining for several months. On Nov. 7, 2013, he was arrested by the FBI in the airport in Prague while transferring flights from Iran to Spain to visit family.
Through extensive investigation, NBPD identified Ryan Kevorkian and Naomi Kevorkian as defendants. After months of investigation, both are accused of being linked to the unidentified DNA on the evidence in Handley’s home. Naomi Kevorkian is accused of participating in the plan to kidnap and torture John Doe.
Ryan Kevorkian and Naomi Kevorkian were arrested today, Nov. 8, 2013, in Fresno by NBPD detectives.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney 401 Civic Center Drive West Santa Ana, CA 92701