Slain tech CEO’s former personal assistant pleads not guilty to grisly murder, dismemberment

Tech CEO's former personal assistant pleads not guilty to killing, dismembering him

MANHATTAN — The 21-year-old former executive assistant accused of killing his boss has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder after the tech CEO was found decapitated and dismembered in his luxury Manhattan condominium Tuesday.

According to The New York Times, Tyrese Haspil, a Long Island native, was arrested around 8:45 a.m. Friday in the lobby of a SoHo apartment building, where he had been staying with a female friend. He was taken into custody by New York City Police Department detectives and members of a U.S. Marshals Service regional fugitive task force. Haspil, who has no prior criminal record, was formally charged with second-degree murder Saturday morning in Manhattan and ordered held without bail by Judge Jonathan Svetkey.

Haspil is accused of murdering Fahim Saleh, 33, an international tech entrepreneur and the CEO of Gokada, a 2-year-old Nigerian motorbike ride-hail company, CNN reported.

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Sam Roberts and Neville Mitchell, Legal Aid Society attorneys with the Homicide Defense Task Force representing Haspil, told the network Sunday that the public should be cautious about making early assumptions regarding such a complicated case.

“We are in the very earliest stages of ferreting out the truth,” the wrote in a statement. “The life of this case promises to be long and complex. As the attorneys for Mr. Haspil, we urge the public to keep an open mind.”

Security video obtained by investigators shows an individual in a black suit, mask and latex gloves follow Saleh into his apartment while carrying a duffel bag. According to police, the person then subdued Saleh with a stun gun, stabbed him to death and returned the following day to dismember Saleh’s body with an electric saw, the Times reported.

One law enforcement official told the Times the crime scene “looked like a professional job.”

During a Friday news conference, NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney K. Harrison confirmed Haspil had been Saleh’s executive assistant, handling “his finances and personal matters.”

“It is also believed that (Haspil) owed the victim a significant amount of money,” Harrison said.

Saleh had discovered that Haspil had stolen roughly $90,000 from him and fired him for the offense but did not report the theft, instead offering to a arrange a repayment plan for Haspil, the Times reported.

Haspil’s next court date is scheduled for August.

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