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Man Who Allegedly Dismembered Tech CEO Fahim Saleh Wasn’t Violent Growing Up, Aunt Says

What kind of person kills someone, and dismembers the body? New York City police say that’s what Tyrese Devon Haspil, 21, did to his late boss Fahim Saleh. The defendant’s aunt, however, says that he wasn’t a violent person growing up.

“Not here, because I would not tolerate it,” Marjorie Sine told The New York Daily News. “I was thinking about it all last night and there wasn’t anything else I could say or do.”

Haspil did have a rocky childhood, she said. His mother was put in a mental institution. He was sent to live with his maternal grandmother, but she died when he was 12. From there, he lived with Sine, but that arrangement fell apart when he began staying out late and being disrespectful to her, she said. She put him in a foster family when he was 17.

“He wasn’t listening to me so he left,” she said. “That’s what happened, we went to court. I couldn’t deal with it anymore.”

Ryan Andres, one the defendant’s classmates from Valley Stream Central High School in Nassau County, said that as far he remembered, Haspil was “always pretty friendly with everyone.” He claimed never to see any violence or anger from him.

One of Haspil’s former neighbors in Brooklyn, Kate Hain, said there was nothing to suggest he could be a killer.

“He and his roommate seemed to keep to themselves and not cause any issues in the building,” she told The New York Times.

Police reportedly say Haspil allegedly stole $90,000 from Saleh, the CEO of the Nigeria-based delivery company Gokada. Instead of reporting this, however, the victim tried to suggest a repayment plan in which Haspil would work off the dept, said officials cited by the Times.

But the defendant, garbed in black, allegedly ambushed Saleh in the victim’s Lower East Side condo Monday, Tasing him and fatally stabbing him in the neck and torso. Investigators reportedly suggest he waited overnight for the blood to coagulate in the body before dismember it with a power saw. The killer fled when Saleh’s cousin arrived at the scene, officials said. (The relative was described as a sister in initial reporting.)

Investigators said that the defendant was tripped up by buying the Taser online with a personal credit card and signing for the package, and also buying balloons for a woman’s birthday using one of the victim’s credit cards.

“We urge the public to keep an open mind,” said Haspil’s attorneys Sam Roberts and Neville Mitchell, who announced that their client pleaded not guilty in the second-degree murder case. “There is much more to this narrative than the accusations, an arrest by the police and a charge by the district attorney.”

[Screengrab via CBS New York]

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