The man accused of killing tech executive Bob Lee appeared in court for the first time Friday for a murder case that attracted international attention and sparked heated discussions about public safety in San Francisco.
Nima Momeni wore an orange jumpsuit and appeared at his arraignment in a courtroom packed with journalists. His sister Khazar Momeni, also known as Khazar Elyassnia, and her husband, Dr. Dino Elyassnia, attended the hearing along with three other family members, identified by Momeni’s stand-in attorney Robert Canny.
Canny’s sister Paula Canny is a private attorney who will represent Momeni throughout the rest of his court hearings. She did not appear in court Friday.
Judge Christine Van Aken blocked media from taking pictures or making sketches of Momeni.
Momeni will remain in custody without bail and did not enter a plea or make any comment in the courtroom. He is next scheduled to appear on April 25 at 9 a.m.
Momeni stands accused of stabbing Lee, a renowned tech entrepreneur known for creating Cash App, during the early morning hours of April 4 in San Francisco’s Rincon Hill neighborhood.
Surveillance footage from the area showed Lee wandering through the area, gripping his side, before collapsing on the sidewalk.
He was taken to a hospital where he later died.
In the wake of Lee's death, tech executives took to social media to decry the supposedly high level of violent crime in San Francisco.
But after Momeni’s arrest on Thursday, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins and Police Chief Bill Scott announced that Momeni and Lee knew each other and the crime was not random.