San Francisco

Arraignment of Suspect in Stabbing Death of Tech Exec Bob Lee Postponed

Proceeding to arraign Nima Momeni is rescheduled for May 2

NBC Universal, Inc.

The man accused in the deadly stabbing of CashApp founder Bob Lee appeared in a San Francisco courtroom Tuesday for his scheduled arraignment, but the judge postponed the proceeding on a defense motion.

Nima Momeni faces murder charges in the April 4 stabbing. His lawyer told NBC Bay Area he will be entering a not guilty plea and will ask for bail. But on Tuesday, defense attorney Paula Canny asked for an extension because she had yet to receive the autopsy report.

The judge granted the request and rescheduled the arraignment for Tuesday, May 2.

"It is mentioned in the affidavit in support of the arrest warrant, so, no, the autopsy is done," Canny said. "I don't know why San Francisco wouldn't be able to provide what any other county could provide in a timely way."

Court documents claim Lee and Momeni engaged in an argument over Momeni's sister in the early morning hours of April 4 and that Momeni drove Lee to a secluded area in San Francisco and stabbed him with a kitchen knife three times.

Before the hearing, some of Momeni's family and friends were discreetly shuttled into the courtroom. Momeni's sister Khazar was absent.

According to court documents, investigators say Momeni and Lee met up with Khazar at least twice on the night of Lee's death. In those documents, a witness says Momeni and Lee had a heated discussion about her that night.

According to the district attorney's office, about 20 people, friends and family of Lee, were also in court.

After the hearing, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said the delay makes an already tragic situation for Lee's friends and family even more difficult.

NBC Bay Area's Raj Mathai spoke exclusively with Defense Attorney Paula Canny about the case against Nima Momeni, accused of killing Cash App founder Bob Lee.

"My office showed up today ready to arraign Nima Momeni for the murder of Bob Lee," Jenkins said. "Unfortunately, as you're all aware, Mr. Momeni's defense attorney did not show up prepared for this arraignment and, unfortunately, it did not take place."

Jenkins also dismissed Canny's argument about not handing over all available evidence. Jenkins said a full autopsy, including a toxicology report, can take up to 60 days. That's why they rely on a preliminary report to seek warrants and file charges, which she says was handed over.

Jenkins also said they will oppose Canny's argument to have Momeni released.

"In this situation, we have an individual who stabbed Mr. Lee multiple times, including in his heart," Jenkins said. "That is about as dangerous as it gets."

The big question that the prosecution and defense will focus on is motive, according to one expert.

"I think the defense is going to focus on this relationship between Mr. Lee and Mr. Momeni," legal analyst Steven Clark said. "Were there any prior threats? What was the reason Mr. Momeni stabbed him? Was there a sudden quarrel? Was it a heat-of-passion- type killing, which could lower this from first degree murder to manslaughter? I think that will be the big issue in this case."

Clark said the prosecution has laid out a strong case that it was premeditated murder. Deconstructing the relationship between the two tech executives and how Momeni's sister fits into the whole scenario will be at the center of the case, he added.

Momeni remains in custody without bail.

Contact Us