|For Immediate Release
April 23, 2007
DRIVER CONVICTED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER, ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON, AND PERSONALLY INFLICTING GREAT BODILY INJURY FOR RUNNING DOWN A FATHER OF THREE IN THE PARKING WITH HIS CAR
SANTA ANA – Morteza Bakhtiari, 27, was convicted of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, felony hit and run with injury, hit and run with property damage, and falsely reporting a crime. The jury also found that the defendant personally inflicted great bodily injury causing brain trauma. Bakhitiari will be sentenced on, Friday, June 1, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-45, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years, 8 months in state prison, restitution, and lifetime revocation of his California driver’s license.
On January 19, 2006, at approximately 11:30 p.m., John Royston was standing in an Aliso Viejo parking lot with two friends. Bakhtiari drove through the parking lot in his silver BMW with a passenger heading to Opah Restaurant and Bar. When the victim shouted at Bakhtiari to slow down, the defendant sped up and erratically drove through the parking lot. He hit a parked Mercedes Benz with his car and aimed his BMW at the victim. He then deliberately ran him over and fled the scene. The victim sustained brain injuries which resulted in a coma.
On January 20, 2006, the defendant contacted the Costa Mesa Police Department and falsely reported that his car had been stolen. He was arrested later that day.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons prosecuted this case.