Previously Convicted White Supremacist Gang Member Found Guilty of Stabbing 22-year-old to Death

Case #16ZF0001 

Previously Convicted White Supremacist Gang Member Found Guilty of Stabbing 22-year-old to Death

Santa Ana, Calif. – A previously convicted white supremacist gang member was convicted today of second-degree murder for stabbing a 22-year-old man to death in a Laguna Niguel bar in 2015.

A jury found Craig Matthew Tanber, 40, of Los Alamitos, guilty of one felony count of second-degree murder for stabbing Shayan Mazroei several times after Tanber and girlfriend were told to leave The Original Patsy’s Irish Pub on September 8, 2015. Tanber was also convicted on one felony count of the personal use of a weapon.

Tanber is facing 56 years to life in state prison. He Is scheduled to be sentenced on February 7, 2020.

Tanber’s girlfriend, Elizabeth Thornburg, exchanged words with Mazroei when the two went outside the bar to smoke. Witnesses testified hearing Thornburg hurl racial slurs at Mazroei, and video footage captured her spitting on Mazroei several times. Before walking back in the bar, Mazroei spit on Thornburg.

Thornburg chased Mazroei back into the bar.

After being asked to leave the bar by a bouncer, Thornburg and Tanber waited outside the bar. Video footage shows Tanber walking back into the bar after the bouncer left to deal with another issue inside the business. Tanber then punched Mazroei and stabbed him twice, first through the heart and then in the shoulder.

Mazroei stumbled back into the bar and collapsed. Mazroei was taken to Mission Hospital by paramedics where he later died.

Following the stabbing, Tanber fled the scene but was arrested three days later at a Westminster motel by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Elizabeth Thornburg has been charged with one felony count of accessory after the fact. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for February 21, 2020 in Department H1 at the Harbor Justice Center.

Tanber had been out of prison for just three months when he killed Mazroei.

In 2007, Tanber admitted to helping kill a 26-year-old man who was beaten to death with a claw hammer after stealing money from the former girlfriend of a white supremacist gang member. Tanber pled guilty to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter after his murder trial ended in a mistrial due to juror misconduct.

“Tanber is a very dangerous and violent man who has repeatedly shown a complete disregard for human life,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Careful deliberation by the jury provided justice for Shayan and his family. We will do everything we can to argue to the court that he should spend the rest of his life in prison for murdering Shayan, and robbing his family of a lifetime of memories.”

Tanber was prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Mark Birney.