By Cheri Mossburg, Carma Hassan and Holly Yan, CNN
Tech executive Bob Lee suffered knife wounds that pierced his heart and lung, according to a newly released autopsy report from the San Francisco medical examiner’s office.
Lee, who cofounded the mobile payment service provider Cash App, was stabbed to death in the Rincon Hill neighborhood in the predawn hours of April 4.
The toxicology report shows Lee, 43, had cocaine, ketamine and alcohol in his system at the time of the stabbing, but the substances were not indicated as a factor in his death.
The alcohol was equivalent to the amount of a beer, and the ketamine could have been given as anesthesia in the hospital, said Dr. Kendall Von Crowns, the chief medical examiner in Tarrant County, Texas.
Von Crowns reviewed and analyzed Lee’s toxicology report for CNN. He said the cocaine appeared to be used around the time of Lee’s death, but it was a low amount.
The autopsy report goes on to reveal grim details about the entrepreneur’s final hours.
After Lee was taken to a hospital, doctors tried frantically to save him for about four hours.
During surgery, they attempted to close two wounds in Lee’s heart and another in his left lung. Despite their efforts, Lee died on the operating table shortly before 7 a.m.
Nima Momeni, an associate of Lee’s in the tech industry, has been charged with murder for Lee’s death. Momeni was scheduled to be arraigned in a San Francisco courtroom Tuesday afternoon, but his arraignment was rescheduled for May 18.
Authorities have said Lee and Momeni knew each other and were in a vehicle shortly before the stabbing.
Momeni’s attorney Paula Canny told reporters outside the courtroom Tuesday that the toxicology report would be a factor in the defense of her client.
Canny said she requested another delay in Momeni’s arraignment because she was not yet ready to set a firm date for a preliminary hearing, which defendants can decide to set either 10 or 60 days from the arraignment under California law.
“Bob Lee’s system was like the Walgreens of recreational drugs,” Canny said, adding that people under the influence do not act like themselves and “make bad decisions and do bad things” without elaborating further.
San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said that while she hasn’t reviewed the autopsy report yet, no one deserves to be killed — whether they’ve done drugs or not.
Alleged conversations between Lee and Momeni
Documents from the DA’s office have laid out what authorities say preceded the stabbing.
A witness, described as a close friend of Lee’s, said he went over to an apartment after being invited by Lee on April 3.
There, Lee was drinking with a woman later identified as Momeni’s sister, a motion-to-detain document states.
The witness told police the woman was married but her “relationship was possibly in jeopardy,” and the witness was unsure whether the woman and Lee had an intimate relationship, according to the document.
Lee later told the witness that they were going to go to his hotel room, where he invited the woman, but she declined.
While at the hotel room, the witness said, Momeni asked Lee “whether his sister was doing drugs or anything inappropriate,” the document states. Lee had told Momeni nothing inappropriate had happened, according to the document.
A late-night car ride
After the conversation with Momeni, Lee and the witness went to Lee’s apartment until about 12:30 a.m. on April 4, when Lee left, the document says.
Surveillance footage shows Momeni arriving at his sister’s apartment building in a white BMW around 8:30 p.m. on April 3, and later shows Lee entering the building around 12:39 a.m. on April 4.
A little after 2 a.m., security footage shows Lee and Momeni entering an elevator together and getting into Momeni’s BMW. Additional footage from the area shows the two driving in the car together.
Video then shows the BMW drive to a “dark and secluded area” on Main Street, just out of view for the video to see the interaction between the two men, per the document.
Eventually, the two subjects, who are unidentifiable by their faces but seem to be wearing the same clothing, appear back in frame. After about five minutes, the subject wearing a white-colored top, consistent with what Momeni appeared to be wearing, “suddenly move(s) toward the other subject,” the document says. The two subjects then separate.
The person in dark-colored clothing, who authorities believe to be Lee, walks northbound, while the person in the light-colored clothing walks south and stops along a fence, where a knife was ultimately recovered, the document says.
The BMW then “leaves at a high rate of speed,” the document states.
An autopsy found Lee was “stabbed three separate times, once in the hip and twice in the chest,” according to the documents. One of the stab wounds “directly penetrated” Lee’s heart, causing his death.
A kitchen knife was found near the scene, District Attorney Jenkins said in a news conference, adding the department had “proof beyond a reasonable doubt that (Momeni) committed murder.”
On April 11, investigators found a text message from Momeni’s sister to Lee that showed the sister checking in on Lee, according to the motion to detain document.
The text message, per the document, stated: “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.”
Momeni allegedly involved in another incident
Meanwhile, additional details in an August 2022 incident involving a woman and Momeni were made available in a police report, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Police in Emeryville cited and released Momeni on a misdemeanor battery charge after a woman reported he attacked her, the newspaper reported, citing documents obtained in a public records request.
CNN has requested the documents and reached out to Emeryville police.
The woman, whose name was redacted from the report, and Momeni reportedly got into an argument the afternoon of August 1, 2022, according to the police report.
Momeni denied the allegation when questioned by responding officers.
The woman told police that Momeni was prone to behavior shifts, the Chronicle reported, telling them that “one minute he will be fine and the next he will go off for no reason.”
In a statement to CNN, Momeni’s attorney Canny said, “It is only a police report.” “There was no arrest. There was no case filed — the Alameda County District Attorney refused to prosecute,” she said.
The Alameda County District Attorney’s office has confirmed to CNN that it did not file charges, but declined to elaborate.
In the police report, the woman said she met Momeni a week earlier and he allowed her to stay on his couch in exchange for cleaning the residence, the Chronicle says, adding she told officers that she and Momeni were not dating.
The woman told police that earlier in the day, she had been in the loft’s kitchen when Momeni came downstairs and yelled for her to collect her belongings and leave, the Chronicle reports.
“Momeni forcefully grabbed her right upper arm and her right side waist area,” Officer Johnson wrote in the report, according to the Chronicle. “He then pushed her against a counter.”
He denied the allegation to police, according to the newspaper, and a roommate told police that he didn’t see violence and that the woman appeared to be the aggressor.
Momeni told officers he wanted to pursue charges against the woman for pushing him the day before when they had also argued, the report says, according to the Chronicle.
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CNN’s Veronica Miracle, Kevin Flower and Taylor Romine contributed to this report.