Text messages show details of McNair’s final night with Kazemi

October 22nd, 2009 by

NASHVILLE — Nashville police have released new details about the investigation into Steve McNair’s murder that show Sahel Kazemi had asked McNair for money and sent text messages about needing to be with him in the few days prior to their deaths on July 4.
The details were released in the middle of a two-part series aired on CBS’ Early Show criticizing the police investigation into the murder-suicide, although police officials have been working on a summary report of the investigation for several weeks.
Police ruled the shooting deaths a murder-suicide several days after the bodies were found at a downtown condo off Second Avenue in downtown Nashville. McNair was shot four times, and Kazemi died from a single gunshot to the head. Neither had any defensive wounds, and police believe McNair was asleep.

Investigators concluded that Kazemi, 20, was drowning in debt and despondent over realizations that McNair was dating other women and wasn’t going to leave his wife for her.

Metro police spokesman Don Aaron declined to comment on anything contained in the 14-page report. The CBS report stated that Kazemi had more than $2,500 in the bank, contradicting the police explanation that Kazemi was distraught over money and the unraveling relationship. But text messages between the two suggest that $2,000 of that money came from McNair on the evening before his murder.

According to the summary report, Kazemi’s former roommate and ex-boyfriend told investigators that Kazemi was fielding calls from bill collectors and struggling to pay the nearly $800 car note and the full $1,000 rent after the roommate moved out.

When Kazemi went with McNair to Las Vegas, friend Emily Andrews told police, she first learned that Kazemi was having financial difficulties.

“Andrews said she and another friend paid Kazemi’s expenses because Kazemi had only $32,” the report said.

Early in the morning on July 3, she texted McNair saying she might have a breakdown because she’s so stressed. He responded, telling her everything was going to be okay.

“Baby I need to pay the cellphone bills n the hospital.can you transfer 2000 to my acc (sic)”, the text message said.

Then, nine minutes later, she said she may need to go to the hospital because she can hardly breathe.

A few hours later, she told McNair she wanted to pay some bills before she went to work because they were stressing her out. He assured her he had a guy transferring the money.

Chris Wall, who provided security for McNair’s family, told investigators that McNair had gotten increasingly annoyed with his relationship with Kazemi. She often called him when he was with his wife and children, according to Wall, and he was getting tired of it. He had slowed down the relationship and was seeing her less often, Wall said.

A Nashville woman named Leah Ignagni also told police she had been dating McNair and, in the weeks before his death, she had left the Lea Avenue condo and was followed home by a woman in a black Escalade.

Ignagni, who is listed on her LinkedIn profile as the senior editor of a start-up magazine called 61Five, also told police she saw the same Escalade parked outside her apartment building and circling the block on a couple other occasions.

On the night after Kazemi was arrested on a DUI charge and McNair bailed her out of jail, he went to Ignagni’s apartment and spent the night.

Below is the content of text message records police subpoenaed from McNair’s cellphone carrier. The following texts were received by McNair’s phone on July 3. Interviews with friends of McNair’s confirmed that he was actually out at several Nashville bars in the evening hours during this conversation.

Kazemi, 4:04 p.m.: Baby I have to be w u 2nite. I dnt care where

Kazemi, 4:16 p.m.Tell me u gonna be w me

Kazemi, 8:34 p.m.: baby where u gonna be at when I get off

McNair, 8:50 p.m.: I’m at home baby what time u get off

Kazemi, 8:51 p.m.: round 11

Kazemi, 9:10 p.m.: where u gonna be at baby

McNair, 9:15 p.m.: at home til the kids fall asleep

Kazemi, 9:18 p.m.: k ill call when I get off

Kazemi, 10:23 p.m.: do u wanna get out n drink

McNair, 10:35 p.m.: Probably not baby having trouble with the kids getting to sleep

Kazemi, 10:45 p.m.: k im going to the condo in a min

McNair, 10:59 p.m.: ok

Kazemi, 11:28 p.m.: they asleep babe

McNair, 11:34 p.m.: they are on the way

McNair, 12:38 a.m.: On my way

Kazemi, 12:38 a.m.: k

Kazemi, 12:48 a.m.: u want me to open the gate

McNair, 12:52 a.m. (sent twice): No open the front door

Kazemi, 1:14 a.m.: its open

Kazemi, 2:23 a.m.: im going to the store*

Investigators say the last text message appears out of sequence, and it was received by McNair’s phone at 2:23 a.m. but on Kazemi’s phone, there was no time stamp on the message.

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