Tech entrepreneur Nima Momeni, the prime suspect in the murder of Bob Lee, the founder of Cash App, has entered a plea of not guilty in the San Francisco court. Prosecutors allege that Momeni, 38, fatally stabbed Lee, 43, in the early hours of April 4th in San Francisco.
Based on evidence from CCTV footage, prosecutors argue that the murder was premeditated, as Momeni can be seen driving to a secluded area. In light of the seriousness of the charges, the judge ordered Momeni to be detained pending trial.
During the court proceedings, Momeni’s lawyer, Paula Canny, challenged the prosecution’s reliance on the CCTV footage, claiming that it does not provide a clear view of the incident. However, the San Francisco Standard reported that it had obtained CCTV footage showing Lee walking down an empty alley, seemingly seeking help on the night of the attack. The footage allegedly captures Lee approaching a parked car, lifting his shirt to reveal his injury, but the vehicle drives away before he collapses.
Police discovered Lee unconscious in the Rincon Hill neighborhood with two stab wounds to his chest. He was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries later on.
While prosecutors have not presented a motive for the crime, they contend that DNA evidence contradicts Momeni’s claim of self-defense, casting doubt on his defense strategy.
According to court documents, a witness informed the police that Momeni had questioned Lee about his sister’s activities the night before the stabbing. Momeni allegedly inquired if she was involved in any inappropriate behavior or drug use, to which Lee assured him that nothing of that nature was occurring.
Momeni’s sister, Khazar Elyassnia, is married to a prominent plastic surgeon in the Bay Area, and both were present at the court hearing.
Criminal records indicate that Momeni was previously charged with driving under the influence in 2004 and carrying a switchblade as a misdemeanor in 2011. However, the latter case was dismissed after he reached a plea agreement.
Public records suggest that Momeni’s IT consulting business was facing challenges, and individuals acquainted with him described him as an introvert, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Momeni, who is not a US citizen, potentially faces deportation to Iran, as stated by his attorney, Paula Canny, as reported by the San Francisco Standard.
The death of Bob Lee has further fueled concerns and criticism surrounding the rising crime rates in San Francisco, although the police have confirmed that the suspect was acquainted with the victim.