Cash App Founder Bob Lee Murder Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

Suspect in murder of Cash App developer Bob Lee pleads not guilty at arraignment, detained without bail until trial

The tech worker accused of murdering Cash App developer Bob Lee has pleaded not guilty to murder in a San Francisco court.

The judge ordered Nima Momeni, 38, to be held in custody until his trial without bail.

Assistant District Attorney Omid Talai said Momeni presents a public safety risk and a flight risk, something contested by Momeni’s attorney Paula Canny, who noted Momeni had not fled in the nine days from the murder to his arrest.

Outside the court on Thursday she said Momeni’s defense would be a combination of self-defence and accident, adding that this was “never a case of ‘who done it’”.

Bob Lee Square Cash App
Former Square chief technology officer Bob Lee.

‘Intentional killing’

But San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins has presented evidence she said cast doubt on the claim of self-defence.

“We believe that this was an intentional killing,” she said after the hearing.

The District Attorney’s office says security video shows Momeni driving with Lee in his car to a secluded area, indicating premeditation.

Canny has said “I don’t think you can see anything” in the video.

Predawn meeting

Lee, 43, was stabbed to death a month ago in the Rincon Hill area of downtown San Francisco in the predawn hours of 4 April.

He was the former chief technology officer of Square, in which role he helped launch Cash App, then known as Square Cash.

Momeni has also worked in the tech industry and the two knew one another, police have said.

Documents from the DA’s office say surveillance footage shows Lee arriving at Momeni’s sister’s apartment building at around 12:39 a.m. on 4 April. Momeni and his sister were already present in the apartment.

‘Secluded area’

A little after 2 a.m. security footage shows Lee and Momeni leaving the building and driving away in Momeni’s white BMW and eventually stopping in a “dark and secluded area” on Main Street.

Police later found Lee unconscious nearby with two stab wounds to his chest. He later died in hospital.

According to court documents a witness told police Momeni questioned Lee about Momeni’s sister the night before the stabbing, asking whether his sister was “doing drugs or anything inappropriate”.

Lee “had to reassure [Momeni] nothing inappropriate happened”, prosecutors said.

A message from Momeni’s sister to Lee after their meeting at her apartment showed her checking in on Lee.

Crime concerns

“Just wanted to make sure your doing ok Cause I know nima came wayyyyyy down hard on you And thank you for being such a classy man handling it with class,” she wrote, according to documents from the DA’s office.

A kitchen knife was found near the scene of the stabbing that was of the same brand as found in Momeni’s sister’s apartment, which had Momeni’s DNA on its handle, said Assistant DA Talai.

The murder had raised concerns about rising crime in San Francisco before it became known that Lee’s suspected killer was known to him.

Elon Musk had criticised the city’s release of “repeat violent offenders” and said downtown San Francisco “looks like a zombie apocalypse”.