The defense attorney for the suspect in the murder of Bob Lee has apologized for inflammatory comments comparing the slain tech executive to the “Walgreens of recreational drugs.”
“I regret that I characterized the autopsy toxicology screen in such an insensitive and cavalier way. I was out of line and wrong,” Paula Canny said in a statement released Thursday morning and addressed to Lee’s loved ones. “I am sorry."
Canny represents Nima Momeni, the man accused of stabbing Lee to death during the early morning hours of April 4. Drugs appear to have played a central role in the conflict that led to the killing.
Lee had spent time with Momeni’s sister Khazar at the apartment of a man previously convicted of a felony drug charge the day before he was killed, according to reporting by The Standard.
That same day, Nima Momeni had questioned Lee about whether Khazar Momeni was doing drugs or “anything inappropriate,” according to court documents.
Khazar Momeni’s drug use worried her brother and caused rifts with her friends, The Standard reported last month.
Lee also used drugs recreationally and “liked to party,” a friend told The Standard. An autopsy showed that the tech executive had cocaine, ketamine, alcohol and other substances in his system the night he was killed.
After the autopsy report was released on Monday, Canny told reporters that Lee had a lot of drugs in his system and that people who do drugs don’t act like themselves.
“I mean, Bob Lee's system was like the Walgreens of recreational drugs," she said.
That remark elicted criticism from San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, who said it was common for defense attorneys to denigrate victims.
“At this point, regardless of whether somebody has or has not done drugs, that does not give someone a license to kill them,” she said.
Nima Momeni has not yet been arraigned on the murder charge he faces, but Canny says he plans to enter a not guilty plea.
Matthew Kupfer can be reached at [email protected]