Monthly Archive: January 2016

10-year-old boy dies after collision

PRESCOTT, Ont. Provincial police say a 10-year-old boy has died in hospital after a two-vehicle collision Saturday evening. Police say a car was on an uphill curve and a pickup truck was coming the opposite way in Prescott, Ont. They say the car entered the truck’s lane and the vehicles collided shortly before 6 p.m. The collision sent the drivers of both vehicles to hospital, as well as the 10-year-old passenger in the car. Investigators the 55-year-old driver of the pickup truck was later released from hospital, but the 47-year-old driver of the car remains in hospital with serious injuries. The 10-year-old boy, identified by police as Dasan Kota Munro, was pronounced dead at the hospital. By The Canadian Press

The danger of distracted driving

Purchase Photos 2 1 Story Tools: Social Media: Tweet 3 I recognized the small truck right away. The logo on the vehicle s door represented a local company that I respected. One that I had done business with in the past.

Driving next to the pickup on a two-lane highway outside of town, we were stopped by a red light in adjacent lanes. The sun had set over an hour earlier. Even though it was dark, the light from a cellphone clasped in the hands of a young female driver illuminated the truck s cab.

Her long hair obscured most of her face, because she was glancing down glued to her cellphone screen instead of the road in front of her. Not only that, but when the light turned green, mesmerized by a text or Facebook post, she didn t move. After driving about a half mile down the 50 mph highway, I looked in my rearview mirror concerned that she would get hit from behind.

The mother in me frantically wanted to warn her to start moving. Thankfully, she finally did. At the next red light, it happened all over again.

The distracted girl remained oblivious to her surroundings, engrossed in the phone. A second time the truck sat still when the light turned green. This time when I glanced back, the mother in me wanted to take her car keys away.

As a nation, we are justifiably concerned over the possibility of another terrorist attack. Yet in all probability, it s a driver more interested in their iPhone than safe driving practices that could contribute to our demise. A September Wall Street Journal article reported that traffic fatalities surged 14 percent (NSC statistics) in the first half of 2015 blamed on more drivers, cheaper gas, catastrophic weather, etc.

But famed Berkshire-Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet says that he believes distracted driving could be an overlooked contributor. In reality, we have no idea how many auto collisions occur annually due to our addiction to our phones, especially with the invention of the Smartphone. According to a USA Today article last year, Cellphone use causes one in four car accidents by Gabrielle Kratsas.

The (2014 edition) of National Safety Council s annual injury and fatality report, Injury Facts, found that the use of cellphones (caused) 26 percent of the nation s car accidents, a modest increase from the previous year. Although this report doesn t include all the incidents where drivers did not divulge that they were on their phones. For example, can you imagine anyone reporting, I was on my cellphone not paying any attention when I plowed into your vehicle.

Nor did Injury Facts name texting as the primary culprit, since in 95 percent of the cases investigated, drivers were using hand-held or hand-free cellphones. Fourteen states currently ban hand-held cellphone use while driving, but Ohio is not one. If we are honest, most of us have difficulty doing more than one task at a time.

Especially, when that task involves use of a cellphone while traveling 70-plus miles an hour on the interstate. It s not just at high rates of speed either. How many times have you been stopped at a red light when you observe a preoccupied motorist like the girl in the company truck?

It s even more frightening to be moving along and spot another driver s neck in the downward dog yoga position fixated on their phone. Not long ago, driving a car was a privilege that came with weighty societal responsibility. Today, young drivers are at increased risk due to their lack of experience.

The CDC reports that they have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. But older drivers are guilty, too. Distracted driving includes cellphone use, texting, applying makeup, programming a GPS, eating, arguing with a passenger, etc.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports, In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver an additional 424,000 people were injured. If you ve ever fought your way back to health following a serious wreck, you realize that those numbers represent countless individuals whose lives have been severely impacted by someone else s possibly careless behavior.

We all want to use our Smartphones, so many of us are contributing unnecessarily to the problem by looking the other way. There are Ohio laws against texting, but the National Safety Council advises folks who want to be part of the solution to Support Cellphone distracted driving legislation for bills banning cell phone use handheld and (even) hands-free-while driving. This might seem a little drastic, but what would be a good solution to stop distracted driving?

Christina Ryan Claypool is a freelance journalist and inspirational speaker.

Contact her through her Website at References ^ Purchase Photos ( ^ Purchase Photos ( ^ Tweet (

Valet Causes Fire on Lamborghini Aventador After Revving it Hard …

Giving your car to a valet can be a risky proposition when you are driving a supercar worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. A valet in Florida decided to take his customer s Lamborghini Aventador out for a spin and soon found the car engulfed in flames. It is unclear if the valet was taking the car out for a joyride or just driving the car to a parking spot.

Some are reporting that the valet over-revved the engine, but nothing has been confirmed. The end result, however, is the same regardless of what occurred one burned Aventador. Onlookers reported seeing flames coming out of the exhaust before the rear of the car caught fire.

The fire was quickly put out but the Lamborghini was out of commission and had to be pushed out of the street to await a tow truck.

Longford driver awarded €750k for crash

A man who suffered a brain injury after he crashed his car in to the back of a council truck on the side of a road has settled his High Court action for ‘ 750,000. Francis Smith, aged 25, of Bracklin Grove, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, had through his mother Martina Dempsey, sued Longford County Council as a result of the crash on January 27, 2009 at Cartronegagh, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford. It was claimed there was an alleged failure to give any, or any adequate, warning to include traffic lights, advance road traffic warning signs or bollards to indicate that work was under way on the roadway. It was further claimed that a stationary lorry was allegedly permitted to project extensively onto the carriageway sufficiently to be a danger to other road users including Mr Smith. It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to ensure a necessary flagman was in place on the southbound approach for the purpose of warning oncoming traffic including Mr Smith. Longford County Council denied the claims and contended there was contributory negligence on Mr Smith s behalf and that he was allegedly driving too fast into the bend in the road. Diarmuid P O Donovan told the court as Mr Smith went around the bend in the road, he had to take evasive action as another car was coming and he collided with the back of the council truck. Counsel said Mr Smith suffered a brain injury and has cognitive and physical difficulties. He said before this he had a good job in a factory. The two passengers in Mr Smith s car were not injured. Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross noted it represented 25% of the full value of the case. He wished Mr Smith well and said it was a good settlement. Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

How Trump gives voice to voters’ silent rage

I could have been in Saxony, the birthplace of the German anti-immigrant movement Pegida: People with German last names were trying to convince me that immigrants were hogging the benefits in their almost all-white state. But I was in Muscatine, Iowa, in a high school gym where a Donald Trump rally was about to begin. I worked with them at Allsteel, said Pat Treiburger, 63. Allsteel, an office furniture manufacturer, is a big employer in the town of 23,000. They made no secret that they were coming for the benefits. They talked about bringing their girlfriends and tons of children to feed off the system. I was working my butt off, and they were laughing in my face. Muscatine County s population is more than 90 percent white, and the state of Iowa has an immigrant population of less than 150,000, or 4.8 percent of the total one of the smallest percentages in the U.S. (immigrants account for 3 percent of Saxony s population). And yet people said that Iowa was a major hub for Mexican immigration and that Trump was the man to stem the tide. I have heard and read all kinds of explanations for Trump s front-runner status among Republicans in Iowa and many other states, ranging from his charisma to the authoritarian leanings of his backers, but I reserved judgment until I saw Trump campaign. On Sunday, I waited in line with perhaps 2,000 of his supporters in Muscatine. It was freezing, and I suspect some people bought Trump campaign hats just to keep their ears warm. Merchandise hawkers plied the line, offering badges inscribed with Blue Lives Matter (a reference to the police) and Hillary for Prison. The people in line gave a bewildering variety of answers to the question of why they supported Trump. The national debt needs taking care of, said Matt Zaehringer, 32, a truck driver. How would Trump do that? Like he takes care of his bank account. Trump s wealth and supposed business acumen were a talisman; He s a businessman, not a politician, said Matt Nichols, 37. I am a small-business owner, so that s important to me. I didn t get the impression that these people wanted an authoritarian leader, someone who would take care of them. They appeared to be drawn to aspects of Trump s personality and political stances. Then Trump came on stage and it became clear that his political skills weren t the reason for his appeal. I m from Moscow, and my standards for political charisma and technique are pretty low. This was one of the worst political speeches I have heard. Trump rambled for more than an hour without completing a sentence. He went off on unexpected tangents. One such aside involved eminent domain the power of governments to take over private property for development. It s not a hot campaign issue in Iowa: It was the theme of an anti-Trump attack by Ted Cruz in a campaign ad that few in that gym had seen. As the speech meandered, Trump supporters started milling about and talking to one another. The other candidates I ve seen in Iowa the Democratic front-runners, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders had kept their audiences riveted. Sometimes, the billionaire appeared to remember why he was there and hit his talking points: support for police and the military, the Second Amendment, America s greatness on the international stage. He got some applause. But the crowd really went wild when two protesters appeared in the bleachers, bearing a sign that said Love Always! Trump Hates. They were escorted out to chants of Trump! Trump! The crowd roared again when Trump boasted that he drew bigger audiences than Sanders and complained that television networks refused to acknowledge his popularity. And they made noise when he said stupid was a better word for the government than incompetent. I began to wonder whether the people around me were really buying Trump s promises to build a wall to keep out immigrants, lower the public debt, make the military stronger or be the best jobs president in history. They shouted Trump, pumped their fists in the air as if they were defying all the bosses who had wronged them and all the politicians who had ever tried to sweet-talk them. He is the only one who can represent me in a honest way, said Rick Sharp, 64, a defense contractor. He doesn t owe anyone anything, and he can say what he thinks. With his lack of restraint in insulting powerful people, his financial independence and his unfocused anger at the perceived stupidity of the political elite, Trump has become a Sanders for people who don t believe in a redistributive state. He personifies their dream of making a lot of money and telling the boss to take a hike. Trump as he seldom misses an opportunity to remind his audience is smart, and he knows that this, and not any campaign promise, is why people support him. At rallies, his volunteers distribute placards saying The Silent Majority Stands with Trump. He says what most of his supporters think, but dare not say. The wave he rides is purely negative, and the lack of specific proposals is no problem. Trump, however, may not have this silent majority figured out. On my way back from the rally, I drove through Moscow, a community of about 250 just north of Muscatine. I saw a man driving up to a shed with a truckload of firewood, and I stopped, unable to pass up a chance to talk to a fellow Muscovite. Had he heard about the Trump rally in Muscatine? Yeah, he said. Keep em away. I don t even pick up the phone these days because it s always these politicians calling. It s a running joke with us, Who is it today, Hillary or maybe Barack or somebody else? We re gonna get what we re gonna get, is what I say. He wouldn t give his name. I guess he preferred to remain silent. 2016 Bloomberg News

Cool things to do in Huntsville, Jan. 31 – Feb. 6

THEATRE Eighty-one wigs, 580 costume pieces and 59 people (including 30 cast members and 11 musicians) go into putting “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” onstage each night. The original creators of the Broadway production have reunited for the current touring production, which wraps a five-show stand Von Braun Center Sunday. Based on the 1991 Academy Award-winning animated film “Beauty and the Beast,” itself drawing from a 1700s French fairy tale of the same name, the show features such tunes as “Be Our Guest.” “Beauty and the Beast,” 2 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31, Von Braun Center Mark C. Smith Concert Hall, 700 Monroe Street, $34 – $66 (plus applicable fees), [1] COMEDY The comedy-tour spiritual sequel to Johnny Paycheck’s 1977 David Allan Coe-written number-one country hit, “Take This Job and Shove It.” The “Quit Your Day Job Comedy Tour” features stand-up comedians Matt Ward and Grady Ray. Huntsville comic Matthew Tate hosts. Quit Your Day Job Comedy Tour , 8 p.m. Feb. 1, Maggie Meyers Pub, 1009 Henderson Road N.W., free, [2] LOCAL MUSIC Many Huntsville music fans know Dave Anderson for his stellar guitar playing with ’90s hit-makers Brother Cane and these days with “So Into You” classic-rock combo Atlanta Rhythm Section. And his masterful local covers-driven solo shows. The latest installment of Huntsville songwriters showcase Listen Local is a chance to hear Anderson’s sharp, U2, Foo Fighters and The Cure-esque original material, such as “Chasing Vistas” and “Simpatico,” in a listening room setting as well as sets from former Drive-By Trucker guitarist Rob Malone and rising Shoals songsmith Rob Aldridge. Huntsville singer/songwriter Alan Little hosts. Listen Local , 7 9:30 p.m. Feb.4, Von Braun Center Playhouse, 700 Monroe St. $15, [3] EXHIBIT “Namibian Craft: The Unknown & The Outsiders” aims to magnifying the indigenous artisan African voice. This exhibit explores necklaces, ornaments, clay pots and other examples of contemporary Namibian craft culture through objects, photographs and video. “Namibian Craft: The Unknown & The Outsiders,” 7:30 a.m. 12 a.m. Mondays Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. 8 p.m. Fridays, 12 6 p.m. Saturday, 1 10 p.m. Sundays, through Feb. 19, Salmon Library Gallery, University of Alabama in Huntsville, 124 University Circle, free, [4] CHILI Can the produce department outcook customer service? Whole Foods Huntsville Team Member Great Chili Cook Off will answer that query. Customers can help determine the recipient of the store’s Chili Trophy by sampling (for free) the different chili recipes and voting for their favorite, and those voters will be entered to win a $50 Whole Foods gift card. The winning Whole Foods team will have a $300 donation made in their honor to a charity of their choice. Whole Foods Huntsville Team Member Great Chili Cook Off , 1 4 p.m. Feb. 6, Whole Foods Market Huntsville, 2501 Memorial Pkwy. S.W., [5] References ^ ( ^ ( ^ ( ^ ( ^ (

7 Strange Motor Sports You Have to See to Believe

Source: YouTube/Dixie Dirt draggers Drag-racing motorcycles made of farm equipment? Summertime snowmobiling? How about tractor-trailer drifting? Since mankind s earliest days, the need for speed [1] has always been a powerful force with swiftness of foot granting either survival or death centuries before horses were bridled and motors were conceptualized. But over the years, this adrenaline rush began to morph into something else entirely, as humans began to challenge one another in order to see who was faster. By the time horses were domesticated all bets were off as to who was fastest, as a man s legs were no longer the deciding factor, and as the chariot transformed into the motorcar a whole new kind of adrenaline junkie was born. Unlike horses, motorized machines could be built and modified to a driver s preferences, and as technologies and engineering advancements grew so did the top speeds and the creativity which made it all possible. But somewhere along the line, something went a bit haywire. A malignant mutation of the motorized mechanics that purists hold dear began to form and bored enthusiasts found new ways of tampering with old ideas. Going in an oval with tarmac beneath you and a pit crew waiting in a paddock isn t for everyone, and either by coincidence, accident, or defiance, automotive enthusiasts have taken unsuspecting forms of transportation and modified them into some pretty insane styles of racing. So after poking around on the interweb for a few hours, we ve come up with seven insanely strange forms of racing that we think would be an absolute blast to watch as a spectator. Granted, you might have to leave the country and sell a kidney in order to attend a few of them, but being an enthusiast sometimes requires sacrifices. 1. Snowmobile Watercross [embedded content] First held in Grantsburg, Wisconsin back in July of 1977, this obscure form of racing has been held every year since its inception. Originally designed as a challenge to see who could make it 300 feet from the island on Memory Lake to the shore, this oddity has since transformed into a competition where racers compete in both drags and ovals, with an eight-lap championship run capping things off. Today, over 100 racers compete in various classes, with competitive watercross being run by two main circuits. While the IWA (International Watercross Association) operates mainly in the Midwest, the EWA (Eastern Watercross Association) operates in the Northeast. In a sport like this it s a sink or skim experience, so these snowmobiles often get stripped-down and beefed-up before being unleashed on a lake. 2. Scandinavian Folkrace [embedded content] Originally of Finnish origin, this rag-tag jab at motoring has become increasingly popular in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, where it continues to grow in popularity during the warmer months of the year. Typically run on gravel or tarmac tracks, this 1.5-mile-long serving of anarchy is filled with crappy cars, crashes, drivers that range from inexperienced teenagers all the way to the elderly, and a top speed that is limited to just 50 miles per hour. There are multiple heats with usually six cars per heat, and since first place winners receive seven points, second place winners get five points, and third makes due with four, there is some math involved. After all of the heats have been driven, the total score is calculated so that the top six drivers may race in the A final, the next six in the B final, and so on until the champion of the A final wins the event. In order to make the race affordable, there is a cap on price, but with a strange catch: Anyone can place a fixed-price bid of $1,000 on someone else s car, but the buyer is always chosen randomly. Refusing to sell one s vehicle is grounds for having competition licenses revoked, and this unorthodox approach has thus far eliminated the investment of large amounts of work and/or money into a folkrace car. It is also worth noting that Folkrace is not related to demolition derbies, and that while collisions do happen (a lot), intentionally ramming a competitor is forbidden. 3. Russian Flying Tractor Racing [embedded content] Meanwhile, over in Mother Russia, more than 30 thousand spectators gather every year to watch a bunch of tractor races at Rostov-on-Don. If mountains of mud, rally-style jumps, fiery arches of death, senior citizen drivers, and gratuitous amounts of farm equipment are your cup of Stoli, then look no further. After doing some research, we discovered that there s apparently a heat called the Viennese Waltz, where racers must maneuver their tractors like figure skaters in tandem to the music of Johann Strauss. The three best racers at the end of the day receive an award from the government for their hard work and for glorifying the local farming community, as this sport is supposedly sponsored in order to draw the nation s young people back into the agricultural sector. 4. Semi Truck Gymkhana [embedded content] Ken Block captured the world s attention with his Ford Gymkhana antics, but for some people his cars never really could tip the scales the way a 10,000-pound big-rig with 1,100 horsepower could. Piloted by Michiel Becx, who was also the brains behind the Becx-TDS Racing semi seen here, the video seen here serves as a beacon of automotive ingenuity and driver prowess while behind the wheel. A few years prior, a 1,950-horsepower Freightliner destroyed a Gymkhana course with ease, which was shortly followed thereafter by the emergence of the infamous Freightliner Cascadia Pikes Peak Special, complete with 2,400 horsepower of supercharged and turbocharged power. So if heavily modifying your retired tractor trailer so that you may navigate a technical course sounds like fun, this is your sport! Chances are your neighbors will hate you for picking up this new hobby, but to each their own, right? 5. The Japanese D-VAN Grand Prix [embedded content] The idea of van racing is weird enough as it is, but using a clunky, top-heavy vehicle that isn t readily available in your home country in the first place? That s just flat-out strange. But having lived in Japan for some time, I can safely say that I ve seen stranger things than middle-aged men racing heavily modified Dodge Vans around race tracks. What started back in 2007 as just a romp around the track in the vans that transported a group of racers motorbikes quickly turned into something more, as parts like oil coolers, Edelbrock heads, and stainless steel headers all made their way onto these motorcycle transit vans. As the vans began to get things like custom suspension and Brembo big brake kits, the competition began to grow and with about fifty drivers competing per race, this oddball style of racing is one that continues to see growth. 6. 24 Hours of LeMons [embedded content] I covered this rust-riddled form of racing to some extent last year when I talked about attending car events [2] , and while there were a lot of details left out, the general picture was painted for you with all the skills my 5-year-old mind could muster. It s a race where champions are not made of money because your budget should be about $500, and by merely finishing the race you are considered a winner. This sport is getting big too, with races taking place on prestigious tracks like Gingerman and Sonoma Raceway, as hundreds of automotive abominations bound around their curves making a spectacle of themselves. This is a true spectator sport too, so if you like camping out, watching crappy car racing, and immersing yourself fully in what is commonly referred to as a breeding ground for morons, then this one s a real winner. 7. Top Fuel Motorcycle Dirt Drag Racing [embedded content] Our last entry is a brilliant blend of farm equipment, bored country folk, tractor pulls, motorcycles, and good old drag racing ingenuity. According to legend, one day a bunch of guys got bored waiting for their run up a hill at a local hill climb event, so while waiting for their turn, some of the boys decided to compete in a drag race over at a nearby dirt lot. Before long everyone else wanted to join, and voila, a new motor sport was born. Outside of a few suspension tweaks and some seriously knobby tires, these bikes are the exact same thing you see drag racing at the local strip, with Kawasaki KZ1000 and Suzuki GS1000 motors with massive overbores, nitrous feeds, and even the occasional turbocharger upping the ante. Hell, some of these bikes have been known to put down over 1,000 horsepower according to builders, and in one case a bike set a record after covering 500 feet of dirt at nearly 150 miles per hour in just 4.44 seconds. Check out Autos Cheat Sheet on Facebook and Twitter [3] [4] More from Autos Cheat Sheet: References ^ need for speed ( ^ attending car events ( ^ Facebook ( ^ Twitter (

A key player in the scheme that landed OC inmate behind bars: his ex-wife

When three men escaped from the Orange County jail, officials quickly decided only one of the escapees possessed the cunning and resourcefulness to mastermind it: Hossein Nayeri, a 37-year-old ex-Marine who faced charges in a grisly kidnapping and torture plot. Around Nayeri s former wife, 29-year-old Cortney Shegerian, the anxiety was extreme. She was taken to a safe house.

She assumed a fake name. During the nine days Nayeri was on the run from his escape on Jan.

22 to his capture Saturday morning the people around her feared for her life. As the manhunt dragged on, authorities were convinced that if Nayeri remained in California, it was to stalk and kill her.

Her lawyers, and the district attorney s office, implored the media not to mention her name, for fear of inflaming him. The source of Nayeri s rage? Shegerian had played a central role in putting him behind bars in the first place, participating in an elaborate law-enforcement scheme to lure him out of Iran and into an extradition-friendly country in November 2013.

Shegerian, now an employment-rights attorney at a prominent Santa Monica firm, had admitted to detectives that she helped her husband conduct surveillance on a Newport Beach pot-dispensary owner, who was later abducted and tortured, his penis severed. Facing the possibility of criminal charges, she agreed to cooperate against her husband. She was a student at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa in October 2012 when, prosecutors say, her husband, a small-time pot dealer, hatched the crime.

Prosecutors contend that Nayeri, along with two other men, broke into a home in Newport Beach, a block from the Pacific Ocean, to abduct the owner of a lucrative marijuana dispensary. The masked attackers beat the dispensary owner and dragged him along with a woman who lived at the house into a van. The attackers headed to the Mojave Desert, 125 miles away, where they mistakenly believed the man had buried $1 million.

A session of protracted torture followed. As they demanded money, the attackers shocked the man with a Taser, burned him with a butane torch, poured bleach on his wounds, placed a zip tie on his genitals and sawed off his penis, then left him and the woman behind in the desert. She flagged down a Kern County sheriff s deputy and the two were rescued.

Newport Beach detectives got a quick break, when a neighbor reported having seen two suspicious-looking men, apparently posing as construction workers, using a ladder behind home the previous day. The neighbor had written down the license plate of what seemed to be their vehicle, a Dodge truck. Detectives tracked it to a Fountain Valley pot dealer named Kyle Handley, who was quickly arrested.

Inside Handley s truck, police said, they found a blue latex glove with DNA that matched Nayeri s. Newport Beach detectives found another clue in their impound yard. A few days before the kidnapping, an officer had tried to stop a gray Chevy Tahoe for running a red light, but the driver had sped away and then fled on foot.

The car was registered to Shegerian, who told police it had been stolen. Searching the Tahoe, detectives found small security cameras with hours of chilling footage. From numerous angles, authorities say, Nayeri had been conducting surveillance of the pot-dispensary owner at the 25th Street home.

Newport Beach police Sgt. Ryan Peters, testifying at a 2015 preliminary hearing in the case against Nayeri, said Shegerian admitted that she had helped her husband while he was carrying out surveillance. She stated at times throughout the surveillance she drove him around as he either retrieved old surveillance cameras or adjusted the surveillance cameras, Peters said.

She took her husband to the 25th Street home and to the home of the victim s parents in Westminster, Peters said. At her husband s behest, she said, she made hamburger patties laced with an unknown poison intended for the parents dog, because it was too loud, according to Peters testimony. She stated she assumed they were given to (the victim s) parents dog, Peters said.

It wasn t clear if that part of the plan was carried out. Before the kidnapping, she heard Handley and her husband in her garage experimenting with a butane torch, according to Peters testimony. Further, Peters said, Mr.

Nayeri borrowed her pink Taser. Soon after Newport Beach detectives began focusing on Nayeri in October 2012, they learned that he had fled to Iran, where he had family roots. Bringing him to trial looked like an insurmountable problem.

It would be hard to find a country less likely to extradite him. To catch him, they used Shegerian. The daughter of John Shegerian, a wealthy businessman who runs an electronics-recycling firm in Fresno, she had hired powerhouse Orange County defense attorney Lewis Rosenblum.

Rosenblum said his client began cooperating closely with the Newport Beach detectives and district attorney investigators seven months before Nayeri s capture. Month after month, she exchanged phone calls and emails with Nayeri under the supervision of law officers, who were recording the exchanges in hopes he would implicate himself. Authorities collected dozens of hours of such controlled conversations between the couple, said Robert K.

Weinberg, the attorney representing Handley. After months of effort, Shegerian managed to lure Nayeri out of Iran with the ruse that she would meet him, along with his sister, in Spain. He expected to enjoy a vacation, and to collect cash and an iPhone, Weinberg said.

Falling into the trap, Nayeri boarded a flight that stopped over in the Czech Republic, an extradition-friendly country. It was there that FBI agents were waiting to arrest him in November 2013. Her attorney said she flew overseas, at considerable risk, to make the ruse plausible.

Had the police not been able to apprehend him, she was there, Rosenblum said. If he had any suspicion that she d helped authorities, he could have killed her there. The month after his capture, as he awaited extradition, Nayeri wrote her a letter saying he was worried that he hadn t heard from her.

I love you more than anything in the world, he wrote. Even after she filed for divorce, in early 2014, he seemed unaware of the role she had played in his capture. In a letter he wrote to a Los Angeles family-court judge, Nayeri said that their marriage was on firm footing when he left the country and grew even stronger while he was living in Iran.

By no means whatsoever we were separated relationship wise, emotionally or legally. Quite the opposite. It brought us even closer.

During that time we constantly expressed our love and admiration toward each other, and planned our future, he wrote to the court. It is not clear when Nayeri learned of his wife s role in his capture. But during his preliminary hearing last year, which he attended in a jail-issued jumpsuit, a detective described the information she had provided to prosecutors.

It was clear from the testimony that she would be a key witness against Nayeri. Nayeri faces life in prison if convicted on charges of kidnapping, aggravated mayhem, torture and burglary. He escaped the Orange County jail with two men being held on unrelated cases Bac Duong, 43, who faced charges of attempted murder, and Jonathan Tieu, 20, who faced charges of special-circumstances murder.

All are back in custody. Shegerian and Nayeri had known each other since she was in her teens and he was in his early 20s, in Fresno, where he had grown up and she had attended Fresno State. In 2005, Nayeri was arrested in connection with a drunken-driving crash in Madera County that killed his best friend, a 26-year-old aspiring sports broadcaster.

He pleaded guilty to drunken driving and causing great bodily injury, which resulted in a year in prison and probation, according to the victim s lawyer. In 2009, when she was 22, Shegerian wrote a letter to a Madera County judge in support of Nayeri, describing herself as a pre-law student who had known him for nearly seven years. She described him as an amazing person, he is loving, hardworking, caring and positive.

She wrote that he had been emotionally damaged by the car wreck, and blamed himself for his friend s death. They married in 2010 and lived together in Irvine, Calif., but had been married only seven months when she filed a domestic violence restraining order against him. She claimed he had pinned her to the floor with his foot on her chest, and put her in a chokehold.

She said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, and had been drinking heavily. She said he threatened to kill her with a box cutter. He could definitely come and try to hurt or kill me, she wrote in court documents.

A Los Angeles judge annulled their marriage in 2015 on the basis of bigamy, ruling that he had not legally ended a previous marriage to a woman in Iran, where he had lived. The ruling could undercut Nayeri s legal efforts to invoke spousal privilege in his criminal defense. Shegerian, who has not been charged with a crime, graduated from Whittier Law School in May 2013, and is an associate attorney with Shegerian & Associates, a civil litigation firm founded by her uncle, Carney Shegerian. (The firm recently represented former sports columnist T.J.

Simers in an age- and disability-discrimination suit against the Los Angeles Times, winning more than $7 million in damages that were later overturned by a judge. The case is on appeal.) Through her lawyer, Cortney Shegerian declined to be interviewed for this story. The California State Bar would not comment on whether it was aware of her connection to the kidnapping case when it admitted her in May 2014. (EDITORS: STORY CAN END HERE) Shegerian s attorney, Rosenblum, described her as a vulnerable person meeting the wrong individual, and said she did not know what Nayeri had been planning, in connection with the alleged kidnapping plot.

He asked her to do things (and) she had no idea why she was doing them. She was kept in the dark on most of this, Rosenblum said. As soon as she understood the gravity of this, she has done everything she can to cooperate with authorities.

You have a 16-year-old girl who essentially meets a guy who has destroyed her life, Rosenblum said. Weinberg who represents Handley, one of Nayeri s co-defendants in the kidnapping and torture case said Shegerian was the only witness against his client and questioned whether her account can be believed. How can she say she was unaware there was a criminal enterprise?

Weinberg said.

Imagine someone inquisitive enough to go to law school not asking her husband, Why do you want me to poison a dog? (Richard Winton and Stephen Ceasar contributed to this report.) 2016 Los Angeles Times Visit the Los Angeles Times at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. _____ Topics: t000002458,t000027866,t000002466,t000027879,t000002481,t000183274,t000002487,t000002491,t000165619,t000149877,t000002493,t000002776,t000049144,t000192837,g000362667,g000065558,g000218065,g000362661,g000362686,g000066164,g000220524