The attorney for Nima Momeni, the man accused of fatally stabbing Cash App founder Bob Lee in April, withdrew from the case on Tuesday, saying she had a conflict of interest.
Attorney Paula Canny told a gaggle of reporters she withdrew, and was not fired.
“I’m not his lawyer anymore. I don’t represent Nima Momeni anymore. I’m not sure who his new lawyer is going to be,” Canny said. “Mr. Momeni waived time, which means he gave up his right to have a preliminary hearing within 10 court days… So, the next time you come to court, you’ll see who his new lawyer is.”
Momeni, an Iranian national, was arrested on April 13, just nine days after allegedly stabbing 43-year-old Lee in a dispute over his sister, Khazar Momeni, who is married to a prominent San Francisco plastic surgeon.
Court documents show that a witness told police the suspect confronted Lee earlier that night for allegedly using drugs with his sister.
The two were seen on surveillance video leaving an apartment building together later that night, before getting into Momeni’s vehicle.
Investigators allege the two drove to a parking lot where Lee was stabbed in the heart with a kitchen knife and seen stumbling on Main Street in the Rincon Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. As he stumbled, Lee begged for help and called 911.
Lee ultimately died in the hospital, where doctors performed an emergency thoracotomy – an incision through the rib cage – to treat his wounds, the autopsy report noted.
Canny was asked by a reporter on Tuesday whether she actually had a conflict of interest, and she responded by saying under penalty of perjury, she was pretty sure she did.
“It’s both with great disappointment and relief that I’m here. It’s just a super messed up situation,” Canny said. “S*** happens in representing people. It’s just like that.”
Canny said she was unable to detail the exact conflict of interest.
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.