The man accused of killing Cash App founder Bob Lee in San Francisco, Nima Momemi, is planning to plead not guilty to the charges next week. Momeni was scheduled to appear in court on a murder charge but it was postponed until May 2 at the request of his defense attorney, Paula Canny.
Canny told reporters that her client also intends to deny the special allegation of using a knife in the crime. Lee, who co-founded the mobile payment service provider Cash App, was stabbed to death in the Rincon Hill neighborhood on April 4, and authorities believe that the stabbing may have been premeditated. Momeni, who is from Emeryville, California, and Lee knew each other, and they were in a vehicle shortly before the stabbing.
Canny believes that she has evidence to support Momeni’s innocence but she is still waiting for police reports and the full autopsy report. She has seen surveillance videos in the case, but she said that she doesn’t think they reveal anything. Jenkins, San Francisco’s District Attorney, believes that there is enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Momeni murdered Bob Lee.
Momeni has been the owner of an IT business, according to California Secretary of State records. He has been held without bail since his arrest almost two weeks ago. Canny said that she believes her client is not a danger to the community or a flight risk and will push for bail to be set, but Jenkins disagreed, saying that someone who is accused of murder is an extreme threat to public safety.
According to documents from the district attorney’s office, a witness and security camera footage offer a detailed timeline of where Lee and Momeni were before the stabbing. A witness, described as a close friend of Lee’s, said he went over to an apartment after being invited by Lee on April 3, where Lee was drinking with a woman later identified as Momeni’s sister.
The witness told police the woman was married but her “relationship was possibly in jeopardy,” and the witness was unsure whether the woman and Lee had an intimate relationship.
While at the hotel room, the witness said Lee was having a conversation with Momeni, which involved Momeni saying he was picking up his sister from the apartment Lee and the witness were previously at. Momeni asked Lee “whether his sister was doing drugs or anything inappropriate,” according to the document.
Surveillance footage shows Momeni arriving at his sister’s apartment building in a white BMW around 8:30 p.m. on April 3, and later shows Lee entering the building around 12:39 a.m. on April 4. A little after 2 a.m., security footage shows Lee and Momeni entering an elevator together and getting into Momeni’s BMW. Additional footage from the area shows the two driving in the car together.
Video then shows the BMW drive to a “dark and secluded area” on Main Street, just out of view for the video to see the interaction between the two men, per the document. Eventually, the two subjects appear back in frame. After about five minutes, the subject wearing a white-colored top, consistent with what Momeni appeared to be wearing, “suddenly move(s) toward the other subject,” the document says.
The two subjects then separate. The subject in dark-colored clothing, who authorities believe to be Lee, walks northbound, while the subject in the light-colored clothing walks south and stops along a fence, where a knife was ultimately recovered, the document says. The BMW then “leaves at a high rate of speed,” according to the documents.