Jurors deliberated less than two hours Thursday before convicting a 38-year-old man of participating in a grisly plot to abduct, torture and sexually mutilate an Orange County marijuana dispensary owner who had befriended him.
Before dawn on Oct. 2, 2012, the dispensary owner was awakened by masked men in the Newport Beach home where he had been renting a room. The attackers dragged the man and a housemate, Mary Barnes, into a waiting van.
Prosecutors say Kyle Handley, a Fountain Valley man, drove the van that took the victims and two other attackers 142 miles into the Mojave Desert.
There, the abductors believed, the dispensary owner had buried $1 million — a mythical stash that Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Matt Murphy compared to “Ali Baba’s treasure.”
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