Bob Lee’s alleged killer, Nima Momeni, is expected to appear Monday with his new celebrity-linked legal team in a San Francisco courtroom, where prosecutors will begin to present evidence for their murder case against him.
Much of that evidence has already been revealed in court filings, but holes remain in the narrative around what happened in the early hours of April 4 when Lee was stabbed to death under the foot of the Bay Bridge.
Prosecutors say Momeni, a tech consultant, killed Lee with a kitchen knife after the two men fought over Lee's interactions with the defendant’s sister, Khazar Momeni. Hours before his killing, Lee and Khazar Momeni were at the home of a suspected drug dealer who said he was Lee’s friend.
Many details of what happened the day before the killing remain unclear and could come out in the preliminary hearing, as prosecutors try to convince a judge they have enough evidence to take the case to trial. Details of Lee and Nima Momeni’s interaction in the hours they spent together before the killing are likely to emerge as well.
Prosecutors have said Lee and Nima Momeni were captured on video leaving Khazar Momeni’s home and driving together to a spot under the bridge where video shows the two in close proximity shortly before the tech executive was found bleeding to death nearby.
After the stabbing, Lee called 911 at 2:36 a.m., telling dispatchers that he’d been stabbed and needed aid. He was recorded on video attempting to flag down passing cars in what appeared to be pleas for help. Before his collapse, video showed him making calls or texting on his cell phone.
Several key details remain unknown to the public, including what exactly led to the alleged altercation between Lee and Momeni and who Lee and Khazar Momeni spent time with the day before.
Momeni was arrested at his home in Emeryville a week after Lee’s killing.
Momeni’s former attorney, Paula Canny, had said that the incident was less a “who done it” and more of a “what happened,” intimating that the stabbing was partly in self-defense. She called into question the quality of the video allegedly showing her client attacking Lee and questioned why he didn’t flee in the days after the incident if he were indeed a killer. She also tried to poke holes in the police investigation.
Canny left the case over a conflict of interest May 30. Momeni’s new attorneys are Saam Zangeneh and Bradford Cohen. Both are based in Florida and it has yet to be seen how they will perform in the case.
If a judge rules that the preliminary hearing has presented sufficient evidence to go to trial, Momeni will face a jury.
Jonah Owen Lamb can be reached at email@example.com