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Bob Lee killing suspect Nima Momeni is being monitored while in jail, but suspect’s lawyer says calling it ‘suicide watch’ is ‘dramatic’


Nima Momeni's sister, Khazar Elyassnia, outside a courtroom.Khazar Elyassnia, left, stands in the Hall of Justice in San Francisco on April 14, 2023, ahead of an appearance by her brother, Nima Momeni, who has been charged with murder in the death of tech entrepreneur Bob Lee.

Olga R. Rodriguez/AP

  • Nima Momeni is in jail on a murder charge in the stabbing of Cash App founder Bob Lee.
  • His lawyer told Insider that Momeni was placed “in a safety protocol.”
  • The protocol is typical for people without a criminal history and in a high-profile case, the lawyer said. 

Nima Momeni, the 38-year-old tech consultant who faces a murder charge in the fatal stabbing of Cash App creator Bob Lee, is on suicide watch, though his lawyer said calling it so is “dramatic.”

Momeni was arrested on April 13 in Emeryville, a city east of San Francisco County, more than a week after Lee was fatally stabbed on an early Tuesday morning in San Francisco. Prosecutors alleged Momeni carried out a “planned and deliberate attack,” stabbing Lee with a kitchen knife, after an argument pertaining to Momeni’s sister, court documents showed.

Momeni is being held in jail until his arraignment, which was delayed on April 14 because his attorney Paula Canny was on vacation. The next hearing is scheduled for April 25.

“San Francisco County Sheriff’s Department has a standard safety protocol that any person without a criminal history who is arrested in a serious high-profile case is placed in a safety protocol,” Canny told Insider in an email. “Some call the protocols suicide watch — that is dramatic but it’s a safety protocol.”

A spokesperson for the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office told Insider that it’s not unusual for high-profile arrestees to be placed on suicide watch, but it’s not a “hard and fast rule.”

“Whether or not someone is placed under watch is based on the totality of the circumstances of their particular case,” SFSO public information officer Kelvin Wu told Insider.

Wu did not immediately respond to a follow-up inquiry on the circumstances that might have placed Momeni under watch.

Lee was fatally stabbed on San Francisco street in the early morning of April 4. According to Momeni’s charging documents, Lee spent his final hours drinking with a group of friends, including the suspect’s sister, Khazar. Prior to the stabbing, Lee was staying at 1 Hotel San Francisco, just a few blocks from Khazar’s apartment. A hotel manager declined to comment when approached by Insider.

Khazar’s partner, Dino Elyassnia, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lee’s death sparked outrage against the state of crime and safety in the city, including from Elon Musk, whose comments were later condemned by the city’s district attorney Brooke Jenkins.

“While we are not going to release any additional facts at this time, I must point out that reckless and irresponsible statements like those contained in Mr. Musk’s tweet that assumes incorrect circumstances about Mr. Lee’s death serve to mislead the world in their perception of San Francisco and also negatively impact the pursuit of justice for victims of crimes as it spreads misinformation at a time when the police are trying to solve a very difficult case,” Jenkins said in the conference on April 13.

Read the original article on Business Insider