The San Francisco District Attorney’s office today portrayed the alleged assailant of tech executive Bob Lee as a premeditated killer and danger to public safety.
The characterization came in a motion to detain — the first detailed description of the events released publicly.
San Francisco police also have surveillance footage that appears to show the moment defendant Nima Momeni stabbed Lee, the document states.
According to the nine-page motion filed by the District Attorney’s Office on Friday, Momeni, a tech consultant who was arrested in Emeryville Thursday morning and charged with Lee’s murder, drove Lee to a “dark and secluded” area, planning to kill the Cash App founder. The two men exited the car that early morning of April 4 and stood on the sidewalk for some five minutes before Momeni, armed with a 4-inch kitchen knife, lunged at Lee, the footage shows.
Additional camera footage shows Lee moments later, injured and staggering away from the scene. Momeni is seen stopping along a fence before driving away at “high speed” in a white BMW.
The knife that Momeni allegedly used was recovered near the fence. Lee was stabbed three times, according to the autopsy cited in the DA’s motion, and once through the heart with “intent to kill.”
This context, plus the fact that a kitchen knife was apparently brought from a home, the DA’s motion alleges, made Lee’s murder a “planned and deliberate attack.”
“The Defendant not only drove Victim to a secluded area in the opposite direction of his hotel, but also brought a kitchen knife with him,” the motion reads. “Defendant did not use some type of pocket knife, but a cooking knife from an apartment and kitchen.”
Lee spent his final afternoon with a friend and Khazar Momeni, Nima Momeni’s younger sister, who is at the center of the events surrounding Lee’s killing, according to the friend’s interview with police.
Lee’s friend told investigators that Khazar Momeni’s relationship with her husband was possibly on the rocks, but they were unsure whether Lee had an intimate relationship with her. The two had known each other for at least three to four years.
Lee’s unnamed friend told police he was with Lee and Khazar in the afternoon at an apartment on the 1500 block of Mission Street. From there, both headed to the luxury 1 Hotel by the Embarcadero, where Lee was staying in San Francisco. It was then that Lee and Momeni had their first argument of the night, according to Lee’s friend.
Lee’s friend told investigators that Momeni had been questioning Lee about “whether his sister was doing drugs or anything inappropriate,” and that Lee had to “reassure” Momeni that “nothing inappropriate had happened.” It’s unclear if this discussion took place in person; investigators reference a phone call between Momeni and Lee.
When investigators were able to access Lee’s phones on April 11, they discovered a text message that Khazar Momeni, Momeni’s sister, sent him after he left he apartment: “Just wanted to make sure your doing ok Cause I know nima came wayyyyyy down hard on you And thank you for being such a classy man handling it with class Love you Selfish pricks.”
The DA’s office cited this text as evidence Lee was calm and collected, while Momeni was not.
At 8:31 p.m., camera footage shows Momeni’s white BMW Z4 pull into the Millennium Tower, where his sister lives, and Momeni exit the vehicle.
At an unspecified time, Lee and his friend went to the friend’s apartment. At 12:30 a.m., Lee’s friend told investigators that Lee left the apartment for Millennium Tower.
At 12:39 a.m., Lee arrived at the Millennium Tower and stayed until approximately 2:03 a.m., when both Lee and Momeni left and drove off in Momeni’s BMW, camera footage shows.
It’s then that Momeni drove Lee to the secluded 400 block of Main Street in Rincon Hill and, allegedly, fatally stabbed him.
“Immediately after stabbing Victim, Defendant threw the kitchen knife, fled the scene in his white BMW at a high rate of speed, and left Victim to slowly die,” read the DA’s motion. “Detention is necessary to protect public safety.”
Momeni appeared in a packed courtroom to be arraigned on murder charges on Friday, in a case that has drawn international attention.
The scheduled court date was pushed to April 25 at the request of Momeni’s stand-in attorney, Robert Canny, because Momeni’s chosen attorney, Paula Canny, was unavailable. Momeni did not enter a plea, but reportedly waived his right to a speedy trial, and remains in custody.
Momeni, who was arrested on Thursday morning as first reported by Mission Local, reportedly wore orange in a courtroom full of journalists. His sister, Khazar Momeni, her husband, Dr. Dino Elyassnia, a prominent Bay Area plastic surgeon, and other members of their family also appeared in court this morning.
After he was stabbed, Lee stumbled through the Rincon Hill neighborhood, surveillance video footage shows, and reportedly called 911 with his phone.
Court documents show that Lee’s blood was found on both sidewalks of the 400 block of Main Street, near where Momeni had driven him. He was later found unresponsive near 365 Main St. and driven to San Francisco General Hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.
Take a look at the key alleged events from the DA’s motion to detain Momeni:
At 3:30 p.m. on April 3, Bob Lee arrived at an apartment on the 1500 block of Mission Street.
Lee spent time there with Khazar Momeni – Nima Momeni’s sister – a friend, and the resident of the apartment.
Lee and his friend later went to 1 Hotel, where Lee was staying.
At the hotel, Nima spoke with Lee about Khazar. Nima asked whether she “was doing drugs or anything inappropriate.”
At 12:30 a.m. on April 4, Lee traveled to Khazar’s apartment in the Millennium Tower.
At 2:03 a.m., security footage shows Lee and Nima going down an elevator and leaving the Millennium Tower.
Lee and Nima drove southbound down Main Street in Nima’s BMW. They parked on the 400 block, where the stabbing occurred.
Lee was found unresponsive at 365 Main Street around 2:35 a.m. He was pronounced dead soon after.