Tech executive Bob Lee’s alleged killer, Nima Momeni, appeared in San Francisco Superior Court on Wednesday, where a judge told prosecutors and the defense to come back Nov. 30 to possibly set a trial date.
Prosecutors have alleged that Momeni took the Cash App founder to a secluded street under the Bay Bridge in the early morning hours of April 4 and stabbed him twice with a kitchen knife, leading to his death hours later in a hospital.
Momeni has been charged with murder.
Momeni was upset, prosecutors have argued, because Lee encouraged Momeni’s sister, Khazar Momeni, do “inappropriate” things the day before.
But Momeni’s attorneys have argued in filings that the facts of the case do not amount to a cold-blooded killing and that their client is not a danger to the public.
Momeni last appeared in court for a motion for release on bail, which was denied.
The coming trial could include many of the people who were with Lee in his last hours, including Khazar Momeni and her husband, as well as expert witnesses, said Tony Brass, one of Momeni’s attorneys.
From the third row of the gallery on Wednesday, Momeni’s mother waved several times and stood to get her son’s attention after he entered the court and sat beside his attorney.
Momeni’s attorneys asked that investigators return his car, a white BMW that has figured prominently in the case. The car has yet to be released due to bureaucratic hurdles, Brass said after court.
Footage retrieved by police from Millennium Tower showed Nima Momeni getting out of the white BMW Z4 after arriving at the high-rise at 8:31 p.m., according to court records. A little more than four hours later, at 12:39 a.m., Lee arrived at the tower.
Shortly after 2 a.m., both Lee and Nima Momeni were seen on camera taking an elevator to the building's lobby before getting into the BMW and leaving.
Footage obtained by police shows Lee appearing to be stabbed under the Bay Bridge on Main Street, court documents said. The footage allegedly shows a BMW and the red glow of tail lights, suggesting the vehicle was parked. Based on the clothing they were wearing when leaving Millennium Tower, police believe Lee and Momeni were the two people seen standing outside of the car.
At one point, the pair move closer together before Lee walks away, appearing to be wounded. Momeni allegedly walks to a fence—which is where police found a silver and black knife, the suspected murder weapon—before getting back in the BMW and speeding away.
Jonah Owen Lamb can be reached at email@example.com