June 24, 2024

Attorneys representing the accused murderer of Cash App’s inventor have requested that the judge transfer the trial outside of the violent Bay Area, arguing that pictures of the man released into the public eye while he was incarcerated will ‘prejudice’ the jury.

In April 2023, Nima Momeni, 38, is charged with killing Bob Lee by a vicious knife stabbing.

The San Francisco Standard published pictures of him that his legal team now claims are “so inappropriate and ugly… that we felt compelled that we had to expedite our motion to change venues.”

At the age of forty-three, Lee was discovered dead from multiple stab wounds on the 300 block of Main Street in San Francisco’s upscale Rincon Hill neighbourhood, which is home to numerous tall glass buildings.

In the early hours following the stabbing, a lot of people conjectured that it was just a random incidence in a city where violent crime is on the rise. However, it was eventually discovered that Lee and Momeni, an IT consultant and businesswoman who established Expand IT in 2010, were acquainted.

Momeni’s sister, Khazar Elyassnia, a married lady, was the woman Lee was having an affair with.

Momeni, who was detained in a solitary detention cell in San Bruno after being apprehended less than two weeks after Lee’s death, was captured by the San Francisco Standard behind a heavy glass and metal door.

Napoleon: a Life, an Andrew Roberts history of Napoleon Bonaparte, Joseph Campbell’s book, and a psychology textbook were among the many books crammed inside the cramped cell, which had a desk, a bunkbed, and a metal toilet.

In one picture, Momeni, dressed in an orange prison tracksuit, was seen crossing his arms and gazing boldly into the camera. He seemed at ease in the pictures.

However, in spite of his laid-back manner, his attorneys said that the pictures, which were taken by a freelance photographer for the local newspaper, have “polluted” the minds of prospective jurors throughout San Francisco.

As a non-citizen of the United States, Momeni gave permission for the photos to be taken, and his legal team was notified prior to the photos’ publication, according to the paper’s editor-in-chief Julie Makinen, who spoke with CBS News Bay Area. She added that the team did not express any objections or concerns regarding the publication of the images.

Nima Momeni granted permission for a freelance photographer to take pictures inside the jail, and the photographer was allowed to take pictures of him.

When we spoke with Momeni’s legal representatives before the pictures were published, they expressed no complaints or worries. The pictures, in the Standard’s opinion, were completely newsworthy, Makinen continued.

However, Momeni’s team “unequivocally” stated that neither Momeni nor they gave their approval for the pictures.

Defence lawyer Bradford Cohen stated: “They were aware that the pictures were being purchased, the cameraman was told not to take those images, and he did it anyhow. The article that accompanies those images is among the most repulsive things I’ve seen in a case where

It is understood that the photographer was at the jail on a separate assignment for the Los Angeles Times.

Selling the photos that weren’t part of the planned visit, according to the SFSO, was a “blatant disregard for the agreed upon conditions and further violation of our media rules.”

Tara Moriarty, the director of SFSO communications, stated, “The SFSO condemns such actions unequivocally, as they compromise the mutual trust between law enforcement agencies and the media, compromising the well-being of incarcerated individuals and the integrity of information shared with the public.”

The photographer who took the pictures has been “forever” barred from all Bay Area prisons, according to a statement made by Moriarty later.

Judge Eric Fleming of the San Francisco Superior Court had scheduled a hearing on Thursday to reach a ruling, but after several hours of back and forth, he has rescheduled the hearing for February 22.

According to court documents from the prosecution, Lee was having an affair with Momeni’s sister, Khazar Elyassnia, who is married to renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Dino Elyassnia.

Court documents state that Momeni questioned Lee about his relationship with Elyassnia the day before he passed away.

Later on, after her brother ‘came down hard on [him]’, Elyassnia texted Lee to check on him and to commend him for handling the situation ‘with class’.

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