Bob Lee was not slain in ‘honor killing,’ protection says

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — An accused killer’s protection attorneys flipped the script about what occurred to Money App founder Bob Lee. At Nima Momeni’s preliminary listening to Monday, his new protection staff stated a motive and narrative launched by prosecutors had been false.

The rich tech government was stabbed to loss of life in San Francisco close to the Bay Bridge round 2:30 a.m. on April 4, 2023.

Investigators stated Momeni, 38, of Emeryville, attacked Lee as a result of he was offended about Lee’s “inappropriate” conduct with Momeni’s sister, Khazar, at a celebration. Lee attended a number of events within the hours main as much as his violent loss of life.

However protection lawyer Saam Zangeneh stated Momeni harbored no emotions of “malice” towards Lee, and subsequently had no motive to kill the tech mogul.

Murder sufferer Bob Lee

As a substitute, Momeni was enraged with a suspected drug vendor, Jeremy Boivin, who hosted one of many events, the protection staff stated. Boivin gave Khazar three doses of GHB, also referred to as a “date rape drug,” Zangeneh stated.

San Francisco Police Division Sgt. Brent Dittmer was referred to as to the witness stand to testify about who partied with who main as much as Lee’s violent loss of life.

Dittmer testified that Khazar threw an “after-party” within the early morning hours of April 3 in her Millennium Tower condominium. Lee, Boivin, a younger girl named Aranza, and one other pal, attended Khazar’s occasion, Dittmer stated.

Khazar Elyassnia stands contained in the Corridor of Justice in San Francisco on Could 18, 2023. (AP Photograph /Godofredo A. Vásquez)

Within the afternoon of April 3, Boivin hosted one other occasion at his downtown condominium. Medicine together with cocaine, GHB, LSD, and “whippets” had been used on the second “after-party,” Sgt. Dittmer testified. Aranza advised Sgt. Dittmer that the drug vendor gave her and Khazar three doses of a “date rape drug” often called “GHB.”

“Each ladies obtained three doses of GHB,” Zangeneh stated.

Dittmer testified that Aranza turned so sick she vomited and misplaced consciousness. She ultimately woke as much as discover Khazar crying and carrying solely a bikini. Aranza referred to as Khazar’s husband, Dino Elyassnia, to choose each ladies up as a result of they didn’t really feel secure on the occasion anymore.

It was unclear when Lee left Boivin’s occasion, however he was not there when Momeni arrived to take Khazar dwelling, based on testimony. Momeni was offended a couple of “romantic relationship” between Khazar and the suspected drug vendor, the protection lawyer stated.

Hours afterward April 3, Boivin went to Khazar’s Millennium Tower condominium the place he was confronted by an enraged Momeni, based on testimony.

Dittmer testified, “I spoke with Mr. Lee’s spouse or ex-wife, who advised me she had spoken with Jeremy Boivin about what had occurred when he was contained in the condominium. Mr. Momeni was behaving in a threatening demeanor and saying, ‘f**ok you. I’ll kill you.’”

Nima Momeni enters a courtroom. (Gabrielle Lurie / San Francisco Chronicle / Pool)

Boivin left Khazar’s condominium earlier than Lee arrived round midnight.

Zangeneh identified the suspect drug vendor’s prison historical past. When police served search warrants on Boivin’s condominium in 2020, 2021, 2022, “voluminous quantities of narcotics had been seized. A kilo of cocaine. A kilo of meth. And a cornucopia of different medicine,” the protection lawyer stated. Boivin was additionally not too long ago accused of sodomy, the protection stated.

The prosecutor objected to discussing the suspected drug vendor in courtroom additional as a result of it was irrelevant to the case.

Zangeneh disagreed, saying “(Prosecutors) assume this was an honor killing due to allegations of sexual wrong-doing.” However Lee by no means sexually assaulted Khazar, the protection stated.

The decide responded, “I haven’t heard something about an honor killing motivation. Jeremy’s issues are usually not the problem of this preliminary listening to. Jeremy isn’t the sufferer on this case.”

Testimony wrapped up for the afternoon, and the preliminary listening to will proceed Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. within the San Francisco Corridor of Justice.

Khazar Elyassnia, middle, walks by the courthouse together with her mom, left, on Could 18, 2023 in San Francisco. (Photograph by Justin Sullivan /Getty Photos)

Superior Court docket Choose Harry Dorfman will make a ruling on the conclusion of the listening to over whether or not prosecutors introduced sufficient proof for the case to maneuver ahead to a homicide trial.

Momeni has pleaded not responsible to first-degree homicide.

District Legal professional Brooke Jenkins stated Momeni was armed with a kitchen knife when he left the tower with Lee. As soon as he had Lee in a darkish and remoted space underneath the Bay Bridge, Momeni stabbed Lee within the coronary heart, and left him dying on the street, based on prosecutors.

SFPD murder detectives unlocked Lee’s cellphone and located textual content messages from Khazar. One textual content message said, “Simply wished to verify your doing okay. Trigger I do know nima got here wayyyyyy down onerous on you. And thanks for being such an aesthetic man dealing with it with class. Love you Egocentric pricks,” based on courtroom paperwork.

Khazar wrote a letter to the decide in Could defending her brother’s character. “He watches out for me. Nima is one yr older than I’m. We have now been collectively our complete 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. “I don’t consider we might reside with out one another.”

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