Witness in Hillsborough heiress murder trial loses plea deal

Bay Area

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP/KRON) – A prosecution witness won’t testify in the trial of a Bay Area heiress charged arranging the 2016 murder of the father of her two children.

The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday that it’s revoking a plea deal with Olivier Adella after revelations that he contacted a defense witness.

The judge delayed start of trial a week to next Monday.

San Francisco Bay Area real estate heiress Tiffany Li and her boyfriend, Kaveh Bayat, are charged with the death of 27-year-old Keith Green. Prosecutors say Li, who’s free on $35 million bail, arranged his death because she feared she’d lose custody of their two children.

Adella originally was charged with murder but pleaded no contest to being an accessory. Prosecutors believe he dumped Green’s body in Sonoma County.

Li, along with boyfriend Kaveh Bayat, are charged with the first-degree murder of Green, the father of her children.

Li was famously released on a $35 million bail after posting it with help from $65 million worth of real estate assets. Courts require double the bail amount when property is pledged instead of cash.

Li’s family, who made millions on Chinese construction projects, helped her post the bail that allowed her to stay in her San Mateo County mansion under house arrest pending trial.

Conditions of her bail required her to forfeit all passports, remain under house arrest with an ankle monitor, and bar physical contact to her children and their passports.

Bayat remains in custody on $35 million bail.

Green and Li met around 2009 when he was 21 and she was 23. He was a high school football star from a blue-collar neighborhood while Li was rich and educated.

Green and Li had two daughters together, and a relationship that lasted six years, until prosecutors say Li took up with Bayat.

Green’s body was found on a dirt road in May 2016 with a bullet wound to the neck 80 miles north of the former couple’s Hillsborough mansion. Green, last seen arguing with Li at a restaurant to discuss child custody, was found two weeks after the incident.

Li told detectives they sat in her car for about an hour, discussing their children, then Green left after an amicable talk. But court records show investigators tracked both of their cellphones back to her mansion.

A few days after that, using phone records, police arrested Adella, a 6-foot-5 French-born mixed martial arts professional who describes himself as Bayat’s bodyguard.

He said Li and Bayat showed up at his apartment the night of the restaurant meeting with Green’s body in the front passenger seat of Li’s SUV, blood coming from his mouth and ears.

Olivier told detectives Bayat showed him a handgun stuffed in his waistband and handed him gloves.

“I need you to take out the trash,” Olivier says Bayat told him.

Geoff Carr, Li’s attorney, says Olivier is lying about Li’s involvement. Charles Smith and John Halley, lawyers for Bayat and Olivier, did not return phone calls from The Associated Press.

Bayat and Li were arrested at the mansion the day after Adella’s arrest.

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