SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The person charged with murdering Money App Founder Bob Lee in San Francisco is switching up his protection group with hopes of proving his innocence.
Nima Momeni employed a Florida-based superstar lawyer, Saam Zangeneh, this week and “dumped” his lead protection lawyer.
Zangeneh defended rapper Pooh Shiesty in 2021 for a Miami resort capturing. The rapper pleaded responsible to a single firearms conspiracy cost in change for 3 extra severe prices being dropped and fewer jail time.
Zangeneh’s colourful Instagram profile states that he’s “101% Persian.” Zangeneh wrote on Instagram, “I battle tooth and nail. I battle excessive profile media circumstances, dying penalty circumstances and circumstances others are afraid to the touch. I do that as a result of everybody accused of against the law is entitled to a ‘Champion’ that may battle subsequent to her or him.”
Momeni, 38, of Emeryville, was born in Iran earlier than he moved to the San Francisco Bay Space as a young person together with his mom and sister, in response to court docket paperwork.
A preliminary listening to was delayed within the Corridor of Justice Tuesday when Momeni’s lead protection lawyer, Paula Canny, immediately introduced she was stepping down from the case due to a battle of curiosity.
Canny cited an irreconcilable battle of curiosity that surfaced and broken the attorney-client relationship. “Sh*t occurs in representing folks,” Canny informed reporters on the courthouse. “I’ve my approach, shoppers have their approach.” She declined to say what the battle was.
Momeni is accused of stabbing a rich tech govt within the coronary heart throughout a conflict over Momeni’s youthful sister, Khazar Elyassnia. All of his court docket appearances have garnered nationwide media consideration and throngs of tv cameras.
In high-profile court docket circumstances, “the primary lawyer all the time will get dumped,” Canny informed reporters.
Whereas Canny was build up a protection over the previous a number of weeks, she beforehand hinted that it wasn’t a “who-done-it” protection. Somewhat, prosecutors didn’t dig up proof exhibiting intent, premeditation, and malice, she hinted. Now that Canny’s off the case, we’ll by no means know precisely what the technique would have been used for the preliminary listening to.
“It’s tremendous attention-grabbing, however I’m not ever going to let you know,” Canny informed reporters.
Prosecutors say they’ve little doubt that they charged the suitable man with homicide. San Francisco Police Division detectives discovered surveillance video exhibiting Lee and his alleged killer leaving Elyassnia’s luxurious condominium in Millennium Tower at 2:03 a.m. on April 4. The 2 males acquired into Momeni’s white BMW, drove southbound on Most important Avenue, and parked in a darkish space beneath the Bay Bridge.
About half-hour later, a gravely-wounded Lee referred to as 911 reporting that somebody had simply stabbed him. He died on a trauma heart’s working desk.
A witness informed investigators that Momeni confronted Lee on April 3. That day, the Money App founder had spent hours “hanging out” with Elyassnia, prosecutors mentioned. “(Momeni) was questioning (Lee) relating to whether or not his sister was doing medication or something inappropriate,” court docket paperwork state.
Lee was an admired determine within the Bay Space tech business. The divorced father of two served as chief product officer of cryptocurrency firm MobileCoin, and was the previous CTO of Sq.. A toxicology report revealed that Lee had alcohol and two occasion medication, cocaine and ketamine, in his system when he was slain.
Police unlocked Lee’s cellphone and located a textual content message from Elyassnia. The textual content message mentioned, “Simply wished to verify your doing okay. Trigger I do know nima got here wayyyyyy down laborious on you. And thanks for being such a cultured man dealing with it with class. Love you Egocentric pricks,” court docket paperwork present.
Police discovered a bloody kitchen knife close to the crime scene, and prosecutors mentioned the knife had been taken from Elyassnia’s kitchen.
Momeni was arrested 9 days after the April 4 murder. He pleaded not responsible.
Elyassnia wrote a letter to the choose final week defending her brother’s character. “He watches out for me. Nima is one 12 months older than I’m. We now have been collectively our whole lives. Along with our mom we’re a really shut household. (We) are in close to fixed contact and have deep emotions of affection for each other. My brother means the world to me,” she wrote within the letter.
Elyassnia wrote that her brother is not going to try and flee from the Bay Space as a result of “I don’t imagine we may reside with out one another.” Elyassnia even supplied to submit the worth of her Millennium Tower condominium as bail. The condominium is owned by Elyassnia and her husband, a distinguished plastic surgeon in San Francisco.
Thus far, the choose has not granted Momeni bail.
Earlier this month, Canny wrote an apology to Lee’s household for blasting his illicit drug use and calling him “the Walgreens of leisure medication.” Canny had beforehand mentioned, “What occurs when folks take medication? What do drug folks act like? Not themselves … form of losery, and make unhealthy selections and do unhealthy issues.”
Momeni’s subsequent court docket look is schedule for June 13. Lee’s ex-wife, teenaged youngsters, and different relations plan on attending each court docket look as they watch for justice, prosecutors mentioned.
Zangeneh’s former shoppers additionally embody “The Fb Killer” Derek Medina. The South Miami man killed his spouse and posted a photograph of her bloody physique on Fb. The slaying gained worldwide notoriety. Medina was sentenced in 2016 to serve the remainder of his life in jail.
Zangeneh wrote on Instagram, “Being a felony protection lawyer is kinda like being a poker participant. In case you present weak spot, you lose. In case you can’t deal with insane strain, you lose. In case you can’t persuade different gamers that your hand (which is rubbish) is gold, you lose.”
Whereas Zangeneh is getting up-to-speed on the Bob Lee homicide case and prepares for a preliminary listening to, Momeni stays locked in a San Francisco jail. The listening to will decide if the District Legal professional’s Workplace has sufficient proof for the case to maneuver ahead to a trial.