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The sister of the man accused of killing tech entrepreneur Bob Lee has appeared in court wearing a huge wedding ring – defying claims she had an affair with the murdered Cash App founder.
Khazar Elyassnia supported her accused brother, Nima Momeni, along with several other relatives during a court hearing at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco.
She wore an all black outfit, including large black sunglasses, and flashed a huge wedding ring as she paused briefly on the steps outside court.
Elyassnia is married to a prominent plastic surgeon, Dr Dino Elyassnia, but was allegedly having a sexual relationship with Lee.
Lee and Elyassnia are are alleged to have been part of an underground scene of drugs and casual sex – she could appear as a witness at the trial.
Khazar Elyassnia supported her accused brother, Nima Momeni, along with several other relatives during a court hearing at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco
Elyassnia is married to a prominent local plastic surgeon, Dr Dino Elyassnia, but was allegedly having a sexual relationship with Lee
She wore an all black outfit, including large black sunglasses, and flashed a huge wedding ring as she paused briefly on the steps outside court
The hearing comes after Lee’s family were in court in San Francisco for another hearing in July, when they listened tearfully to a police officer detailing how he attempted to resuscitate him as he lay dying from stab wounds
Momeni was denied bail Monday, with the judge rejecting the defense argument that he presented no danger to society because he was, at worst, an inept killer.
Lawyer Saam Zangeneh, representing Momeni, argued that his client was not the cold-blooded, premeditated killer depicted by prosecutors.
Rather, he suggested that the evidence suggests this was a sudden interaction, carried out in the heat of passion.
Judge Bruce Chan rejected her son’s application to be released on $1 million bail in the April killing of the Cash App founder.
Momeni, wearing orange jail fatigues, whispered, and waved to his sister Khazar Elyassni and mother Mahnaz Momeni, who were sitting about 20 feet behind him in the courtroom in the Hall of Justice in San Francisco.
As he was led out by guards, his mom openly wept and was handed a tissue to wipe away her tears.
Zangeneh made his long-shot pitch during a hearing Monday afternoon. The defense’s initial application was for $250,000 bail but Zangeneh said they’d go as high as $1 million.
Momeni sat silently as his lawyer insisted that his client presented no danger to the community.
He has no criminal record and he didn’t flee when he had the chance. Instead he hired legal representation ‘showing his commitment to wanting to fight this case,’ Zangeneh told the judge.
Lawyer Saam Zangeneh, representing Momeni, argued that his client was not the cold-blooded, premeditated killer depicted by prosecutors
Momeni, wearing orange jail fatigues, whispered, and waved to his sister Khazar Elyassni and mother Mahnaz Momeni, who were sitting about 20 feet behind him in the courtroom in the Hall of Justice in San Francisco
Zangeneh also disputed prosecution claims that the killing was premeditated, saying there’s no evidence his client harbored any animosity toward Lee.
He also told the court that the killing didn’t take place on a dark, secluded block, as alleged, but rather on a well-lit street around a tourist area.
The size of the knife blade, under 4′, came into question and the fact that Lee was only stabbed three times suggests this was hardly premeditated.
Prosecutor Omid Talai said Momeni’s ‘incompetence’ is hardly a mitigating factor. He reminded the judge that the murder weapon contained only Momeni’s DNA on the handle and Lee’s on the blade.
The judge wasted no time in rejecting the application.
The trial could also hear from a drug dealer, Jeremy Boivin, who allegedly sold drugs to Elyassnia the day before Lee’s murder.
Tony Brass, an attorney on Momeni’s legal team, said that the defense planned to give the ‘complete story’ of the timeline leading up to Lee’s murder.
‘We are not trying to hide anything,’ he said in comments reported by the San Francisco Standard. ‘If anything, we are trying to tell a complete story about how this incident came about.’
Prosecutors claim Momeni killed Lee following a dispute about the alleged relationship with Elyassnia. Brass said Elyassnia’s husband could also be called as a witness.
The hearing comes after Lee’s family were in court in San Francisco for an earlier hearing in July which included testimony from a police officer who detailed how he attempted to resuscitate him as he lay dying from stab wounds.
The account was part of evidence being formally introduced in the case by Assistant District Attorney Omid Talai and included photos of a knife prosecutors say Momeni used to stab Lee.
San Francisco police officer Cedric Hood was one of two officers who attempted to save Lee’s life after he was found bleeding on Main Street in the early hours of April 4.
SFPD Officer Hood explained how he found a silver knife with a black handle inside a locked parking lot.
Investigators later found it to be a 4-inch, Joseph Joseph brand kitchen knife.
The San Francisco prosecutor’s office started laying out its murder case against a tech consultant charged in the stabbing death of Cash App founder Bob Lee
At the preliminary hearing in July, San Francisco police officer Cedric Hood, seen in the dock, described how he was one of two officers who attempted to save Lee’s life after they found him bleeding on Main Street
Lee got into a heated row with Mrs Elyassnia’s brother, a tech entrepreneur named Nima Momeni (pictured in May). He is alleged to have stabbed Lee to death with a kitchen knife
Cash App tech mogul Bob Lee (pictured), 43, dubbed ‘Crazy Bob’ was knifed to death in April
While he was on the scene, a homeless man was found to be sleeping some 40 feet away from where Lee collapsed.
The man was resting close to some garbage cans and was also questioned by police at the scene – but he made little sense when officers spoke to him.
Crime scene investigator Rosalyn Check also described how Lee had left a trail of blood following the fatal stabbing.
Drops of blood stretched all the way from the parking lot along Main Street, right outside to the Portside apartment complex in which Lee was later seen in video footage desperately banging on the doors as he searched for help.
Blood was found on the side of the apartment block and also on a phone box directly outside, which Lee had also tried to use, reports The Standard.
A courtroom sketch of testimony being given during the preliminary hearing for Nima Momeni at San Francisco Superior Court
Lee was later seen in video footage desperately banging on the doors to an apartment complex as he searched for help
Assistant DA Talai also showed other pieces of evidence including the trail of blood left by Lee as he staggered for help.
He also showed video footage that showed Lee and Momeni leave his sister’s condo building before the stabbing took place.
District Attorney Talai said previously explained during a May hearing that the knife was part of a unique kitchen set belonging to Momeni’s sister and that analysis showed Momeni’s DNA on the weapon’s handle and Lee’s DNA on the bloody blade.
Saam Zangeneh, one of Momeni’s lawyers, questioned why the rubber handle of the knife was tested for only DNA and not fingerprints.
Check said that it is difficult to get prints off rubber.
‘When you want to see if someone’s touching something, you do fingerprint analysis, right?’ Zangeneh later said to reporters. ‘And they weren’t done on the handle, which is the most important, relevant portion of who, if any, was handling that item.’
The Portside on Main Street, San Francisco where Cash App founder Bob Lee collapsed and died after being fatally stabbed on April 4th
Attorneys for Momeni said in court that the two men had a cordial relationship and Momeni had no reason to kill him.
The comments from Momeni’s lawyers came during a preliminary hearing, where the prosecution presents its evidence and a judge decides if there is enough to move ahead to trial.
Prosecutors have said that Momeni, 38, planned the April 4 attack that left Lee dying on a desolate San Francisco street.
Lee created Cash App, a mobile payment service, and was the chief product officer of the cryptocurrency MobileCoin.
Momeni is pictured in his Albany High School yearbook photograph
Lee and Khazar Momeni (above), the wife of a respected plastic surgeon, are alleged to have been part of an underground scene of drugs and casual sex
Flowers sit at a tree in front of the building where a technology executive was fatally stabbed outside of in San Francisco, on April 6, 2023
Momeni, who has been in jail since his arrest April 13, has pleaded not guilty. He faces 26 years to life if convicted.
His arrest came more than a week after Lee was found bleeding in the early morning hours of April 4. He later died at a hospital.
Surveillance video of Lee’s final night shows him entering the posh Millennium Tower downtown, where Momeni´s sister lives with her husband, a prominent San Francisco plastic surgeon.
Video footage then shows Lee and Momeni leaving the building together shortly after 2am and driving off in Momeni’s car.
Lee was found shortly after 2:30am in the Rincon Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, which has tech offices and condominiums but little activity in the early morning hours.