The trial for the murder of Iranian-American Shayan Mazroei began earlier this week. A resident of Orange County, Mazroei was killed in Patsy’s Irish Pub in what can only be described as an unmitigated hate crime, compounded by gross negligence of the bar owners and the door security guard. The young student was antagonized, threatened, and stabbed to death by gang member Craig Tanber, a convicted murderer who had just been let out of prison.
R. Scott Moxley of the OC Weekly is candid in his description of the trial, which included surveillance video of the murder for the jurors, during which time Mazroei’s parents had to leave the courtroom in agony. The murder occurred approximately two years ago, at a bar where the victim had already been a frequent patron for at least three years.
Despite the fact that Tanber is an admitted white supremacist, convicted murderer, and member of the criminal gang “PEN1,” the murder’s official status remains generalized. “The victim’s family and friends wanted the killing labeled a hate crime by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, but he refused,” writes Moxley. This is despite the fact that the video footage shows “Thornbug instigated a confrontation with Mazroei…spitting on him three times, calling him an ‘Arab’ and a ‘terrorist…’”
Shayan Mazroei was 22 years old at the time of his death, an ambitious engineering student who had actually opened his own car dealership in Santa Ana a mere five months prior to the day in question. And just two weeks earlier was the day his girlfriend of four years, Mandilyn Legaard, celebrated their four-year anniversary with him in Malibu.
This case should be a matter of national interest at this point, and yet the past week has featured scant coverage, with less than two pages of Google search results at time of this writing. Considering that Republican DA Tony Rackauckas has made it clear that he is running for re-election in 2018, the voting public of his Orange County district should be paying very close attention to the results of this trial, and his role in those results.
The Iranian reached out to Kia Hamadanchy, the Iranian-American Democratic candidate running for congress in California’s 45th District in 2018, but he had no comment on the case at this time. For now, our hearts are with Mazroei’s loved ones, and we wish for the safety of all Iranians in the US seeking a prosperous future for themselves and their families.
More on this story as it develops.
Cover image: Shayan Mazroei (center) with his parents Shahzad Mazroei (left) and Hamid (right) Mazroei (Courtesy of Saddleback College)
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