The former assistant of 33-year-old CEO Fahim Saleh pleads not guilty to first-degree murder charges on Tuesday in Manhattan, New York. Tyrese Haspil, 21, had previously worked for Tech CEO Fahim Saleh as an executive assistant who handled his financial and personal affairs.
According to The New York Post, Haspil had stolen $90,000 from Saleh by transferring the money through his PayPal and Intuit accounts. When Saleh found out, he fired Haspil and dealt with him instead of calling the police. He arranged a brokered repayment plan so that Haspil would continue paying off his debt to him.
CBS 46 reports that Saleh was killed in his condo on the Lower East Side on July 13. Police found his body the next day in his living room apartment, where Saleh’s head and limbs had been decapitated. The autopsy concluded that he had died from five stab wounds to his neck and torso.
Saleh’s last moments alive were captured by surveillance video, which shows him getting on an elevator on East Houston Street. According to NBC New York, the footage also revealed that a man dressed in dark clothing had followed Saleh into the elevator. Police believe that this man attacked Saleh as soon as he got off the elevator, leading directly into his apartment. His body would be found by police a day later.
His cousin would discover his head and limbs decapitated with parts of his body stuffed in plastic bags. According to The New York Times, investigators believe that Haspil followed Saleh to his apartment and ambushed him. He used a taser to incapacitate him around 1:44 pm on July 13. Afterward, he stabbed him to death by slashing his neck and torso.
The next day, Haspil used Saleh’s credit card to go to Home Depot on West 23rd Street in Manhattan. The video shows him buying an electric saw and cleaning supplies at 9:30 am on July 14. The New York Post states that he returned to Saleh’s apartment the next day to get rid of the body.
As he was severing his limbs, he heard a door ring and fled the scene. In a hurry, Haspil mistakingly left the tools he purchased in his former boss’s apartment. Investigators later found a Makita saw with two batteries, a Sawzall blade, a Taser probe, blue gloves, scissors, knife, and multiple cleaning supplies in Saleh’s condo.
Officials were able to locate Haspil by tracing the taser residue ejected in Saleh’s apartment. According to Forbes, he was living at an $18,000 per month AirBnB, less than a mile away from the crime scene. Investigators were able to arrest him on June 21.
A grand jury has indicted him on first- and second-degree murder, grand theft, burglary, tampering with evidence, and concealment of a human corpse. He is being held at Rikers Island without bail. As of today, the case is being adjourned until January 11, 2021.