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    HomeEcosystem NewsAccused Admits Beheading Gokada CEO to Impress Girlfriend

    Accused Admits Beheading Gokada CEO to Impress Girlfriend

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    In a chilling courtroom revelation, Tyrese Haspil, the 25-year-old former personal assistant to Fahim Saleh, CEO of Nigeria-based motorbike startup Gokada, has confessed to beheading his boss in what his attorney describes as a “crime of passion.” During the trial held at Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday, May 24, 2024. Haspil’s defense argued that he acted under “extreme emotional disturbance” driven by fear of losing his French girlfriend, Marine Chaveuz, after embezzling a substantial sum from Saleh.

    According to defense attorney Sam Roberts, Haspil was desperate to conceal his theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars from Saleh, fearing that Chaveuz would abandon him if she discovered his financial misconduct. He argued that the thefts were a result of Haspil’s dire financial situation and his fear of losing Chaveuz. Roberts claimed that Haspil viewed Saleh as a father figure and never intended to harm him until he felt cornered with no way out. Roberts described Haspil’s mental state as one of extreme emotional disturbance, exacerbated by his traumatic upbringing. The defense presented testimonies about Haspil’s abusive childhood, including graphic accounts of the physical and psychological abuse inflicted by his mother. These experiences, Roberts argued, left Haspil emotionally scarred. This anxiety purportedly drove him to confront Saleh at his $2.4 million Lower East Side apartment, where he Tasered, stabbed, and ultimately dismembered his employer.

    The prosecution, led by Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Linda Ford, painted a different picture, asserting that Haspil meticulously planned the murder to evade prosecution and erase his debts. Saleh had discovered the theft of $90,000 in January 2020 and had confronted Haspil, but opted not to press charges, seeing him as a protégé and offering a repayment plan instead. Despite this leniency, Haspil continued his fraudulent activities, leading Saleh to uncover further misappropriations.

    Prosecutors allege that Haspil, fearing criminal consequences, carefully researched methods to execute and conceal the murder of ex-Gokada CEO. He reportedly used Saleh’s credit cards for transportation to Home Depot, where he purchased cleaning supplies. On July 13, 2020, Haspil allegedly attacked Saleh with a Taser and a knife, dismembering the body the following day. The prosecution provided detailed evidence, including the discovery of a unique “anti-felon disk” identification tag linked to the Taser ordered by Haspil a month prior. Prosecutors stated that Haspil was organizing a birthday celebration for his new girlfriend at an Airbnb loft on Crosby Street, where he lavished her with cakes and luxury gifts.

    Tyrese Haspil, 25, stands accused of murdering ex-Gokada CEO. Credits: James Messerschmidt, New York Post.

    Saleh’s dismembered body was discovered by his cousin, who found his torso in the living room next to construction bags. Despite Haspil’s efforts to clean the crime scene, investigators found the anti-felon disk that led them to the Taser purchased under his name.

    In a bizarre twist, two days after the murder, Haspil was seen in NoHo with another woman, purchasing birthday balloons and planning a lavish celebration at a loft-like Airbnb on Crosby Street. Investigators recovered luxury items, including a leather APC tote bag and Christian Louboutin shoes, allegedly bought using Saleh’s funds.

    Haspil pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges, which carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years to life if convicted. His defense team is advocating for a manslaughter conviction, citing his tumultuous upbringing marked by abuse from his schizophrenic mother. Roberts contended that Haspil’s actions, though irrational to others, made sense to him given his psychological state.

    “He lived in fear of being abandoned,” Roberts stated, “and in his mind, he saw only two options: suicide or homicide.” The defense hopes the jury will consider the emotional and psychological trauma Haspil endured, potentially opting for a lighter sentence of five to 25 years under manslaughter.

    Awaiting Verdict

    The jury’s deliberation will be the next crucial step, as they consider the evidence and testimonies to reach a verdict whether Haspil’s crime stemmed from a deeply disturbed state of mind or premeditated malice.

     The case continues to attract widespread attention, shedding light on the tragic intersection of ambition, betrayal, and mental health.

    The legal proceedings will continue to be closely monitored, with updates expected as the jury deliberates and eventually delivers its verdict on this harrowing case.

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