LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The woman accused of stabbing her hookup in a Las Vegas-area hotel room — in retaliation for a U.S. drone strike that killed an Iranian leader — will not be able to continue to perform and make music videos pending trial.
In a hearing Wednesday, Judge Carli Kierny ordered Nika Nikoubin, 22, to adhere to strict stipulations of her house arrest in Texas.
“At this point, we’ll just say no,” Judge Kierny said of allowing Nikoubin to continue booking performances.
She has also been banned from continuing to attend classes at the University of Texas at Dallas ahead of the trial, school officials confirmed.
Police in Henderson, Nevada, arrested Nikoubin, a University of Texas at Dallas student, shortly after the stabbing on March 5. Nikoubin and the male victim met online on the dating website Plenty of Fish, Henderson police wrote in an arrest report. The duo then agreed to meet at the hotel, booking a room together, police said.
While in the room, the pair began engaging in sexual activity and Nikoubin put a blindfold on the victim, police said. Nikoubin then turned off the lights, and several seconds later, stabbed the victim in the neck, documents said.
While speaking to officers, Nikoubin said she wanted to get revenge for a drone strike which killed Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani in 2020. Investigators with KLAS had obtained body camera video in December, showing officers talking to Nikoubin before her arrest.
Nikoubin told the officer she stabbed the victim out of “spite and revenge,” according to the video.
“What do you mean by that? Like, why?” the officer asked.
“I mean the U.S. killed Soleimani. Lots of blood spilled,” she said. “So, I feel like, it’s fair that American blood be spilled.”
The stabbing victim was able to speak to investigators that same night. Photos show his injuries, which included at least two puncture wounds to his neck.
A Clark County grand jury later indicted Nikoubin on charges of attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon because of certain, actual or perceived characteristics of a person, and two counts of battery, records showed.
During a hearing Monday, Judge Kierny said it appeared the Dallas-based agency monitoring Nikoubin was only tracking her location and not checking to see if she potentially violated her curfew or other justice court-imposed provisions.
The same day, Rod Bishop, a representative for the University of Texas at Dallas Police Department, said police in Texas had also said they were never made aware Nikoubin was in their jurisdiction and attending classes at a Dallas-area university, and only learned of her criminal charges in Clark County after a reporter attempted to interview her about her singing aspirations. (Nikoubin recently released a music video for a song called “Spaceman” under the name Nika Borouj.)
A representative from the Dallas-based monitoring agency told the judge on Wednesday that they never received confirmation about the court-imposed restrictions. The judge allowed Nikoubin to await trial in Texas with stipulations, including a 6 p.m. curfew, excluding work and education.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Bishop also asked Kierny to ban Nikoubin from campus pending trial.
“We would like to request that the court restrict Ms. Nikoubin from coming to our campus while her trial is pending,” he said. “After this week’s shooting at Michigan State University along with continued campus violence across the nation, students and parents are even more alarmed about safety issues.”
Kierny told Bishop that was a private matter, and not her decision to make. Nikoubin’s attorney, Alanna Bondy, objected to the request. Bishop said Nikoubin would be able to attend online classes.
A university spokesperson ultimately said Nikoubin had been given a “removal order” from the campus, the Associated Press reported.
Nikoubin’s attorneys have filed paperwork to try to get her attempted murder charge dropped, saying, “Nikoubin specifically stated she did not wish to kill [the victim], but only wanted to ‘hurt him.’” They write the grand jury “was likely confused about the elements of the crime.”
When making her ruling on the performances, Kierny said Nikoubin’s attorneys could ask for a hearing should a potential gig arise.
Nikoubin has pleaded not guilty. A trial was scheduled for July.