Bob Lee stabbed following dispute involving alleged killer's sister, court docs reveal
SAN FRANCISCO - Before Nima Momeni allegedly stabbed high-profile tech executive Bob Lee three times with a kitchen knife, he drove his victim to a secluded area, fuming over some dispute involving his younger sister and vowing to "come down hard" on him, prosecutors alleged in court papers released Friday.
Prosecutors outlined the hours before the deadly April 4 encounter, describing Lee hanging out with Momeni's younger sister, Khazar, and other friends, in a court motion seeking to detain the 38-year-old defendant in custody.
The San Francisco district attorney's office charged Momeni with murder and an enhancement of using a knife after police arrested him at his Emeryville home on Thursday morning.
Momeni made his first court appearance on the charges Friday but did not speak. His sister, Khazar Momeni, and her husband, Dr. Dino Elyassnia, sat in the court gallery with other family members.
Prosecutors described the hours leading up to the violent encounter between the 43-year-old Lee, a multimillionaire tech executive who founded the CashApp, and Momeni.
It began around 3:30 p.m. on April 3 when Lee and an unnamed friend of 10 years met up with Khazar Momeni and another person at an apartment on the 1500 block of Mission, Assistant District Attorney Omid Talai wrote in court papers.
The friend was not named but detailed the evening to investigators.
After some time, the friend and Lee left the apartment for Lee's hotel room, officials said.
That's where Lee spoke to Nima Momeni, who began questioning him about whether his sister was "doing drugs or anything inappropriate," Talai wrote. The witness told investigators that Lee assured the brother that nothing inappropriate happened, officials said.
Lee and his friend separated around 12:30 a.m. on April 4. The friend told investigators that he later learned that Lee had gone to Khazar Momeni's apartment at the Millennium Tower on Mission Street, prosecutors said.
Investigators later found that Lee showed up at 12:39 a.m. at the building, where Nima Momeni had arrived hours earlier, Talai wrote.
At 2:03 a.m., Nima Momeni and Lee were seen in the elevator before getting into Nima Momeni's BMW.
Momeni "drove victim to a dark and secluded area the opposite direction of his hotel. We know through a text message from defendant's sister to victim, defendant was previously upset with victim and ‘came down hard on’ him," prosecutors wrote in court papers.
Investigators pieced together some of the encounter through text messages between Lee and Momeni's sister.
After driving Lee to the secluded area on the 400 block of Main Street, prosecutors said Nima Momeni and Lee got out of the BMW.
Nima Momeni then stabbed Lee three times with a kitchen knife, including twice in the chest, in a "planned and deliberate attack."
One of the wounds penetrated Lee's heart, officials said.
Momeni then discarded the knife and sped off in his BMW, prosecutors said.
The sister later texted Lee: "just wanted to make sure you're doing ok cause I know Nima came wayyyyy down hard on you. And thank you for being such a classy man handling it with class. Love you Selfish pricks."
While the court documents explain in part how Nima Momeni knew Lee, what wasn't made clear is why he was so angry with him.
Momeni declined to speak publicly and his lawyer also declined comment.
Evan Sernoffsky is an investigative reporter for KTVU. Email Evan at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EvanSernoffsky