Tyrese Haspil, the personal assistant of tech entrepreneur Fahim Saleh who was found dead in his apartment earlier this year has been indicted on first degree murder charges.
According to Daily Mail, a grand jury in New York on Tuesday increased the charge Haspil was facing to first degree murder, which is unusual in the state and normally only applies to killings where there are special circumstances like the murders of a police officer.
Haspil was arrested earlier this year on second degree murder charges in connection with the gruesome killing of his 33-year-old boss. Saleh’s limbless body was found in his apartment on the Lower East Side by the police who believed he’d been killed days earlier.
They claimed Haspil was stealing money from him and took more than $50,000 between 2017 and August this year, when the murder happened. Daily Mail reported that he pleaded not guilty via video-link and had already been facing life behind bars.
The grand jury decided that the special circumstances in this case were that he “was a witness to a crime committed on a prior occasion and the death was caused for the purpose of preventing the intended victim’s testimony in any criminal action or proceeding whether or not such action or proceeding had been commenced.”
In their submission to the grand jury, prosecutors described finding a Makita saw, demolition bags containing body parts, limbs and a Home Depot receipt inside Saleh’s home. The Gokada CEO was tasered and then stabbed multiple times before being dismembered.
They say that over the course of three years, he stole more than $50,000 from Saleh in PayPal and Intuit transfers, and that he kept transferring money to himself four days after Saleh had died.
Haspil pleaded not guilty to second degree murder earlier this year. He remains in custody awaiting trial. Detectives started investigating Haspil after finding text messages in which Saleh accused Haspil of stealing the money, according to police sources.
Saleh, who was born in Saudi Arabia but grew up in New York in a Bengali family. He reportedly bought his luxury apartment for $2.25 million last year. Police sources said initially they believed the murder was financially motivated and likely the fatal result of a soured business deal.
Prior to the personal assistant’s arrest, investigators had been looking into Saleh’s business affairs for any possible motives or suspects. Haspil, who is from Elmont, New York, had worked for Saleh at his investment firm Adventure Capital.
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