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Who is Tyrese Haspil: Killer reveals last words of tech CEO he tasered and beheaded

In a disturbing development during Monday's trial, Tyrese Haspil, the former protégé accused of brutally beheading his tech CEO boss Fahim Saleh, revealed a chilling detail about the moments leading up to the crime. Haspil, 25, claimed Saleh made derogatory remarks about his appearance shortly before the fatal encounter in July 2020.

During a fateful elevator ride, Haspil said he had completely disguised himself and taken advantage of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. He wore a dark plastic face shield, a low-slung baseball cap and sunglasses in an effort to remain unrecognizable. However, Saleh reportedly commented on Haspil's clothing and pointed out that he had been wearing personal protective equipment during the pandemic.

This revelation made the encounter even more horrific. Haspil's attorney, Diane Ackerman of the Legal Aid Society, announced that her client later admitted to the murder and described the gruesome confession that shocked observers in the courtroom.

The murder of Fahil Saleh: A questionable motive

Even more frightening, Haspil himself described the attack in a cool tone: “He got off the elevator and I tasered him in the back. I remember tasering him in the back.” He continued, “I pulled out a knife and aimed it at his neck.”

Haspil's lawyers claim the murder was the result of an “extreme emotional disturbance” triggered by a desperate attempt to maintain a lavish facade in front of his French girlfriend. According to a New York Post report, Haspil lavished her with expensive gifts to project the image of a wealthy playboy. This financial strain, his lawyers say, triggered a nervous breakdown.

When Haspil was asked on the witness stand by his lawyer if he remembered anything Saleh said during the brutal murder, he revealed his victim's chilling last words: “What are you doing?”

Prosecutors allege that financial desperation drove Haspil to murder Fahim Saleh, a venture capitalist and CEO of Nigerian scooter startup Gokada. Haspil, who was charged with embezzling $400,000 from his employer, allegedly took a brutal and final step to avoid detection.

Who is Tyrese Haspil?

In 2018, Haspil landed a well-paying job as an executive assistant (reportedly $30 an hour) to Faleh, a manager described as “charismatic” and “visionary.” However, there are allegations that he created a fake resume with fabricated experience, including a stint at a company called “Pinina” that appears to be fictitious.

Haspil managed Saleh's finances and personal affairs. According to Haspil, he sought employment with Faleh after the latter was fired from a Long Island branch of Moe's Southwest Grille after being accused of embezzling $20,000.

However, after meeting his French girlfriend Marine Chaveuz in September 2018, Haspil reportedly struggled to maintain her expensive lifestyle with his regular salary, which allegedly led to him continuing to siphon money from Saleh's accounts.

Fearing Chaveuz would find out where their lavish spending came from, he allegedly kept his actions a secret. Haspil claims he did not want to “let down” his girlfriend. “If I take his life, I don't have to pay him back,” Haspil testified.

“If I don't have to pay him back, I don't have to worry about missing a payment. If that happens, I can continue to support my partner.” Haspil maintains his innocence and pleads not guilty to the charge of premeditated murder. If convicted, he faces a minimum of 20 years to life in prison on those charges.

His defense team is arguing for a lesser charge of manslaughter, citing “extreme emotional disturbance” as a mitigating circumstance. According to Haspil, his motive for killing Saleh was his intense desire to make Chaveuz's birthday on July 19, 2020, a memorable one.

During cross-examination, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Linda Ford questioned Haspil about his plans to celebrate Chaveuz's birthday. Haspil reportedly revealed plans for a spa day, kickboxing, a sunset cruise and other outings after the alleged murder.

Haspil admitted to spending $7,349 on a Louis Vuitton backpack and clutch for his girlfriend, who describes herself as a designer enthusiast. He also confirmed receiving an email receipt for the purchase just six hours after the alleged murder on July 13, 2020, according to prosecutors.

Recent high-profile cases highlight the tragic consequences of violence. Recent high-profile cases highlight the tragic consequences of violence. Surveillance footage captured an attack by millionaire investment banker Jonathan Kaye in which he punched a woman in the face.

Another prominent figure, Rebecca Grossman, a Los Angeles socialite and philanthropist, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for the deaths of her two brothers, Mark and Jacob Iskander, who were struck by their car while crossing the street with their family in Westlake Village on September 29, 2020.