Tiffany Li defense team files for mistrial as deliberations enter Day 10

Hillsborough Heiress Murder Trial

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KRON) — Tiffany Li has been walking free for two years. The Hillsborough heiress posted one of the largest bails in U.S. history — $35 million — to get out of jail.

But with a verdict looming, her freedom could end at any moment.

A San Mateo County jury entered its 10th day of deliberating Wednesday as it mulls over two charges against the young millionaire: first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. It’s also deciding the fate of Kaveh Bayat, Li’s co-defendant and boyfriend, who prosecutors say murdered Keith Green execution-style inside of Li’s mansion in April of 2016.

Green, 27, was the father of Li’s two young daughters. Prosecutors said Bayat wanted to replace Green, and Li gave a “green light” for killing him.

Green’s supporters lobbied for Li to have no bail, citing her family connections in China and access to wealth as flight risk concerns. Under her bail release conditions, she surrendered her passports and agreed to wear a GPS ankle monitor. But someone with Li’s wealth could slip away on a private jet at any time, legal experts told KRON4.

Now that a verdict could be handed down at any time, is Li still considered a potential flight risk?

“Absolutely,” San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Li’s defense team filed a motion this week for the trial to be declared a mistrial because of evidence containing cellphone data that should not have been given to the jury. The judge rejected the mistrial motion and ordered the cellphone data evidence removed from the deliberation room.

If the jury delivers a guilty verdict, prosecutor Bryan Abanto said he will make a motion for Li to be immediately remanded into custody. Usually when a defendant is out of custody, they are not placed in handcuffs and taken to jail until their sentencing hearing.

“It’s one thing to be a defendant hoping for an acquittal. It’s another for a defendant to be convicted, facing life in prison, as to what they want to do,” Wagstaffe said. “If things move the way we hope they do, that motion will be made by us, and Judge (Robert) Foiles will tell us the answer.”

Wagstaffe, a veteran prosecutor, said this jury is the “quietest” jury he’s seen, and he believes that jurors are being “meticulous” while reviewing all of the evidence.

Jurors left the courthouse late Wednesday afternoon without reaching a verdict, and they are scheduled to resume deliberations Thursday morning.

Kaveh Bayat, Tiffany Li, and Olivier Adella
Kaveh Bayat, Tiffany Li, and Olivier Adella

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