Slain tech CEO Fahim Saleh's accused murderer and ex-assistant Tyrese Devon Haspil had a stormy childhood as his mother was sent to a mental institution when he was just a child.
But he was never known for showing violent tendencies, said Haspil's aunt Marjorie Sine in an exclusive interview with the Daily News.
She was stunned hearing her nephew was accused of butchering his tech mogul boss. She recalled her nephew as a handful — but hardly homicidal.
According to her, the accused killer, Haspil, was a quiet young man, at times annoying, but incapable of the cold-blooded murder of victim Fahim Saleh who was tasered, stabbed, decapitated and dismembered on July 13.
"I thought (police) made a mistake because he never showed his emotions," said Sine, 52, of her nephew. "His behaviour, the way he was, he acted nonchalantly. He would do whatever he wanted."
The 21-year-old turned into an alleged cold and calculating killer, as the NYPD charged him with brutally executing Saleh inside the victim's $2 million Lower East Side condo.
A Manhattan Criminal Court judge ordered Haspil held without bail on a second-degree murder charge at an arraignment on July 18, ending a four-day hunt for the killer.
Sine, recounted Haspil's difficult childhood, bouncing from one relative's home to another before landing in a foster home. He was just a child when his mother was sent to a mental institution, and Haspil's maternal grandmother was left to raise the boy until her death when he was just 12, Sine said.
Sine took the young boy in after his grandma's death, but turned him over to a foster family at 17, as he became increasingly insolent. Haspil's father died a year later.
"He wasn't listening to me so he left," said Sine, explaining that her nephew often stayed out late and disrespected her. "That's what happened, we went to court. I couldn't deal with it anymore."
It was the last time she saw Haspil. She learned on July 17 of his arrest in the savage killing where he's accused of taking a power saw to his 33-year-old boss, an international tech entrepreneur with ride-sharing businesses around the globe.
Ryan Andres, a classmate of Haspil at Valley Stream Central High School on Long Island, was shocked to learn his fellow member of the Future Business Leaders of America was now an accused killer. He never saw any flashes of violence or anger from Haspil, who was one year behind Andres.
"As far as I can recall, he was always pretty friendly with everyone," said Andres, 22. "We would always try to practice with each other. He participated in competitions, just like I did."
Haspil and a partner once won an award for website design at a state FBLA convention, Andres recalled.
Sine said her nephew was very driven and could be troublesome, but never showed any inclination toward brutality.
"Not here, because I would not tolerate it," she said. "I was thinking about it all last night and there wasn't anything else I could say or do," she said.