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Nima Momeni Is Being Held On Suicide Watch

Nima Momeni

SAN FRANCISCO—Nima Momeni, 38, who is being held in a San Francisco jail for the murder of Cash App founder Bob Lee, 43, is on suicide watch. 

“As is standard process in high-profile cases in San Francisco, the jail always treats it as a high-risk suicide [watch],” said Paula Canny, an attorney representing Nima Momeni. “It’s not unique to Nima. It’s SOP.” According to reports, Momeni is not exhibiting any high risk behavior. 

Prosecutors detailed their evidence against Momeni last week, claiming he stabbed Lee three times including through the heart on the streets of San Francisco in the early hours of April 4. The murder was said to occur shortly after they had a fight about Momeni’s sister, Khazar Elyassnia.

His brother-in-law, sister, mother, and several close family friends made an appearance during his initial court date. Momeni could be seen in an orange jail sweatshirt and pants, a black mask and shackles around his ankles. He did not enter a plea and was scheduled for an April 25 arraignment.

His Friday, April 14 court appearance revealed that police recovered the suspected murder weapon, a bloody 4-inch kitchen knife discarded near the crime scene.

Surveillance video shown at the hearing shows Lee and Momeni leaving Elyassnia’s apartment at around 2:03 a.m., getting into a white BMW and driving away from the location. Shortly afterward, surveillance video of a lesser quality shows Momeni standing outside of the car for about five minutes in a wealthy part of Rincon Hills which is where the murder took place. After the attack occurred, Lee made a 9-1-1 call begging police for help. 

When authorities arrived on the scene, they found Lee at the 300 block of Main Street and transported him to a hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.  

Momeni was arrested on April 12 at approximately 5 a.m. at his Emeryville home, across from the notable Bay Bridge. 

According to initial reports, many San Francisco residents assumed Lee’s murder was due to high crime that has been rampant throughout the region. Momeni is a Bay Area tech entrepreneur who had just met Lee through his sister. Momeni and Lee were acquainted with one another.  

An unnamed witness spoke with officers on April 3 and revealed to authorities that Momeni had “grilled” Lee about his sister asking him questions about her personal life like if she was doing drugs or anything inappropriate. Lee assured Momeni that nothing like that was going on. The unnamed witness noted that it was unclear if Lee and Elyassnia had an “intimate relationship.”

Momeni’s lawyer expressed that she has seen no evidence that ties her client to the murder scene. She argues that police made a swift arrest and that she has not seen any supporting documents that go with the arrest warrant.

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