REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KRON) — Hillsborough heiress Tiffany Li appeared in court Thursday for the first time since a jury began deliberating to decide her fate.
A San Mateo County jury entered its eighth day of deliberations as it decides whether the young millionaire and her boyfriend, Kaveh Bayat, are guilty of murdering Keith Green. If convicted, they could be sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in prison.
Green, 27, was Li’s ex-boyfriend and the father of her two young daughters. Investigators said Li ordered a hit on Green because she resented his numerous attempts to pry more money from her. Li’s family amassed hundreds of millions of dollars in China from its real estate businesses, and their fortune further expanded in the United States as they helped wealthy Asians buy real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area.
No verdict appeared on the horizon Thursday afternoon during Bayat and Li’s brief court appearance. Their defense attorneys met with Judge Robert Foiles behind closed doors. The jury will be in recess for the next four days.
On Thursday morning the jury asked for transcripts of testimonies from two people who work for the Li family’s real estate business — Mark Haesloop and Margaret “Auntie” Shao.
Haesloop testified that he was asked to help find an apartment for Green after Li kicked him out of her mansion in October of 2015. Haesloop said he felt concerned about the welfare of Li and Green’s children — their youngest daughter was 18-months-old at the time — so he looked up Green’s Instagram account. Haesloop testified that Green had Instagram posts showing a lavish lifestyle.
Prosecutors said Shao was used by Li for an alibi the night of the homicide. Li told detectives that on April 28, 2016, she went to an apartment building in Burlingame with Bayat to collect a rent check from one of the tenants. Li had exchanged several text messages with the tenant arranging to meet after Shao told Li that she had erroneously ripped up a previous rent check.
Prosecutors said the rent check snafu was merely a ruse created and used by Li so that she and Bayat would have a reason to be at the apartment building that night. The couple’s body guard, Olivier Adella, also lives in the building.
Adella later told investigators that Li and Bayat arrived at the building with Green’s body in the backseat of Li’s Mercedes G-wagon. The body was lifted into Adella’s Chrysler, driven by Adella over the Golden Gate Bridge, and hidden in a remote Sonoma County field. Adella claimed that the couple paid him thousands of dollars to “take out the trash.”
Li remains freed on $35 million bail. She is not allowed to be in possession of a passport, cannot have physical contact with her children, must wear an ankle monitor, and is under house arrest. Bayat has not been able to post his own $35 million bail and remains behind bars.
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