Nima Momeni's defense lawyers' first gambit, to get his trial moved out of San Francisco, has not paid off, with the judge in the case ruling Friday on the change of venue request.

Momeni's trial may finally begin at some point this year in the April 2023 killing of tech entrepreneur and CashApp founder Bob Lee. As of Friday, as Mission Local reports, his tentative trial date has been set for May 20 — though the defense may seek further delays.

But for the change of venue motion, the judge wasn't buying that a non-prejudicial jury could be selected from within in San Francisco.

"Yes, he’s the CashApp founder, but it’s really the murder of him that the court believes is why individuals are more aware of him,” said Judge Eric Fleming, per Mission Local.

The defense team surveyed 100 SF residents and found that while 86 percent had heard about the murder case, only 41 person agreed with the notion that Lee was a "Silicon Valley icon." And less than a third said that they had already formed an opinion of Nema Momeni based on news articles about the case.

Fleming said he had considered whether gruesome or gory details of the murder had been widely shared with the public, and he decided this case didn't really fit that description, as Mission Local reports. And he added that the potential jury pool was equally likely to have "negative opinions and potential bias" against the defendent in this case they are against the victim.

Bradford Cohen, who is part of the defense team recruited from Florida to defend Momeni after he apparently fired local defense attorney Paula Caney, admitted outside the courtroom to Mission Local that "We always file these motions," referring to the change of venue request.

While this was a loss for the defense, they had a win last week when Judge Fleming ruled in their favor in a request for seven years worth of phone data from both of Bob Lee's cell phones.

"The prosecution is going to do a seven year pull on both of Bob Lee’s phones, because that’s when Bob Lee met Khazar Momeni — and the government is alleging that that relationship had merit,” attorney Saam Zangeneh told Mission Local.

Khazar Momeni, the sister of Nima Momeni, is at the heart of this case and Nema's potential motive in the stabbing of Lee. Lee had had some kind of romantic entanglement with the married Khazar Momeni dating back seven years, and he was back in town on business — after moving to Miami — when the killing occurred.

Accorinding to evidence that was released publicly in earlier court documents, Lee and Khazar Momeni had spent the day together on April 3, 2023, attending some sort of party at an individual's apartment at 1550 Mission Street. That individual has been variously identified as a friend or drug dealer to Lee, and the allegation was that something inappropriate happened to Khazar Momeni while she was there, which Nima Momeni may have held Lee responsible for.

Lee and Nima Momeni were seen on surveillance footage leaving Khazar's condo at Millenium Tower in the early morning hours of April 4, about 20 minutes before the stabbing occurred a few blocks away. The kitchen knife believed to be the murder weapon may have come from a set in Khazar Momeni's kitchen.

Previously: Attorneys for Bob Lee Murder Suspect Nima Momeni Look to Move Trial Out of San Francisco

Top image: Nima Momeni arrives in court at the Hall of Justice on May 18, 2023 in San Francisco, California. 38 year-old tech entrepreneur Nima Momeni was arraigned today in a San Francisco courtroom in connection with the stabbing murder of Cash App founder Bob Lee. Momeni pleaded not guilty to a murder charge. (Photo by Paul Kuroda-Pool/Getty Images)