Hillsborough heiress murder trial: Dragon tattoo and ‘How to get away with murder’ TV show discussed

Hillsborough Heiress Murder Trial

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KRON) – Hillsborough heiress Tiffany Li has a half-completed dragon tattoo. Relevance behind the large dragon tattoo on Li’s leg was discussed in court Tuesday as her defense team called a tattoo parlor owner to the witness stand.

Li and her co-defendant, Kavet Bayat, are charged with murdering Keith Green, the father of Li’s children, in April 2016. That same month, Li spent hours in the parlor for her elaborate tattoo. The parlor owner, Casey DeFrancis, testified that she enjoyed playing crime shows on her parlor’s televisions, including “How To Get Away With Murder.”

Earlier in the trial, prosecutors showed the jury a potentially disturbing text message that Li sent to Bayat while she was getting inked. She told Bayat that they should watch the show together. Bayat replied that he had never heard of the show.

Tiffany Li (Oct. 16, 2019)
Tiffany Li (Oct. 16, 2019)

Defense attorneys used Tuesday’s testimony to suggest that Li simply saw the show playing on one of the parlor’s televisions, and that there was nothing nefarious behind the text.

Prosecutors claim that Green was shot to death by Bayat inside the garage of Li’s mansion. But multiple forensic scientists who meticulously combed the garage testified that no bullet holes, bullets, or shells, were ever found. A murder weapon was also never recovered.

Li told investigators some eyebrow-raising comments about Green after he vanished in 2016, newly-released court documents revealed.

KRON4 and ABC7 obtained 75-page transcripts of an interview San Mateo County Sheriff’s detectives conducted with Li on May 4, 2016. It was six days after Green was slain, and seven days before his body was found in a Sonoma County field. Li and her boyfriend, Kavet Bayat, were not arrested until May 21.

READ: May 4, 2016 police interview with Tiffany Li:

Detectives were questioning Li about her then-missing ex-boyfriend when the conversation turned to money and a contentious custody battle over their baby and 4-year-old daughter. Li claimed Green attempted to “sell” his custody rights of their children to Li’s wealthy family, for $20 million each.

“When we first broke up, he asked each kid $20 million. He asked my mom. And my mom’s like, you’re ridiculous,” Li said, according to the transcript.

Li said Green later asked for far less money. But bitter feelings following their breakup lead Li to want to cut Green off from getting any more money from her, according to the transcript.

The defense team maintains that Li and Bayat’s body guard, Olivier Adella, carried out the killing alone. The body guard admitted he was paid to get rid of Green’s body, but he asserts that Green had already been shot to death by Bayat inside Li’s mansion before Green’s body was driven by Li to Adella’s apartment building.

Kavet Bayat

Adella will be put on trial separately after the Li-Bayat trial concludes. He remains behind bars.

Evidence highlighted by the defense team Monday included a plane ticket Li bought to China. Li’s wealth and family ties in China had some concerned that she was a flight risk after she posted $35 million bail. Defense attorneys pointed out that Li had bought the ticket to China long before Green was killed.

Prosecutors rested their case last week by bringing out the case’s lead investigator, Sgt. John Carroll, to explain to the jury why key pieces of evidence were significant. Those pieces included a text Li sent to Bayat telling him “Green light,” blood found in Li’s G-wagon, and the fact that the victim’s cellphone matched Li’s  geographic locations throughout the night of the homicide, and “burner phones” allegedly used by Bayat and Adella that were never used again after Green was killed.

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