US

The tech consultant charged with the killing of Cash App founder Bob Lee planned the attack, prosecutors have claimed.

Nima Momeni allegedly drove the 43-year-old victim to a secluded spot in San Francisco and stabbed him over a dispute apparently related to the suspect’s sister.

The motion to detain the 38-year-old without bail is the first official account of what may have led to the death of Mr Lee in a deserted part of the city on 4 April.

Momeni was arrested on Thursday and appeared in court on Friday but did not enter a plea.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on 25 April.

The judge in Friday’s hearing agreed to detain Momeni in jail without bail. If convicted, he faces 26 years to life in prison.

He did not speak except to say “Yes your honour” when the judge asked if he agreed to decline his right to a speedy trial.

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His younger sister Khazar Elyassnia sat with her husband, prominent San Francisco plastic surgeon Dino Elyassnia, and two other family members in the front row at the hearing.

When Momeni entered the courtroom, an older woman made a heart sign with her hands and Momeni, who was wearing a face mask, smiled and nodded at them.

On Thursday, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott announced Momeni’s arrest and said that the two men knew each other but declined to elaborate on their connection.

He also refused to disclose a possible motive.

The motion to detain Momeni relies on surveillance video and testimony from a friend who was with Mr Lee the afternoon and evening before he died.

The events that unfolded started the day before, when the friend, along with Mr Lee and Mrs Elyassnia, were drinking together at another person’s apartment, according to the document.

That night, the friend said he and Mr Lee left the apartment.

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Afterwards, they went to Mr Lee’s hotel room, without Mrs Elyassnia, and noticed a conversation in which Momeni was questioning Mr Lee over whether his younger sister “was doing drugs or anything inappropriate,” according to the document.

Mr Lee reassured Momeni that nothing inappropriate had happened. It is unclear whether the conversation took place in person or by phone.

The friend and Mr Lee parted ways at about 12.30am. Minutes later, Mr Lee can be seen on video surveillance entering the Millennium Tower, where public records show the Elyassnias own a unit.

The video also shows Mr Lee and Momeni leaving the building shortly after 2am and driving off in Momeni’s BMW.

Prosecutors say that Momeni drove to a dark and secluded spot, and attacked Mr Lee with a kitchen knife, stabbing him three times, including once in the heart.

He then sped off “and left victim to slowly die”, according to the motion. Police recovered a knife with a 4in blade at the scene.

The motion also indicates a text message that Mrs Elyassnia sent Mr Lee to check on him because her brother came “down hard on you” and to thank him for “handling it with class”.

The death of the Cash App founder shocked the tech industry, with friends and former colleagues mourning a man they described as brilliant, gregarious and a doting father to his two children.

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