Los Angeles

Jail Escapee Appears in Court in Torture Case

One of the three Orange County fugitives who made a daring jail escape was in court on Tuesday where he faced charges of kidnapping and torture related to a case that happened years before last week's escape.

The only words Hossein Nayeri said in court were "I do" when the judge asked him if he agreed to delay his hearing until March 21 at the request of his attorney due to the high-profile nature of the escape.

"Certainly we're not going to rush into trial on the heels of this," said Salvatore Ciulla, his attorney. "We have some investigating and research to do as to what really happened. I don't think we have exactly a clear picture yet."

Prosecutors said Nayeri kidnapped a marijuana dispensary owner from his Newport Beach home, dragged him to the desert where he thought he had hidden money and ordered his genitals be cut off. If convicted in the case, the defendant could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

His attorney describes Nayeri as calm and is "nothing like the characterizations of him in the press."

Nayeri, Jonathan Tieu, 20, of Fountain Valley, and Bac Duong, 43, of Santa Ana, escaped from the Men's Central Jail in Santa Ana on Jan. 22. After more than a week on the run, Duong surrendered Friday in Santa Ana, while Nayeri and Tieu were arrested Saturday morning in San Francisco.

Nayeri had been in custody since September 2014, Tieu since October 2013 and Duong since December.

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