Heiress on trial: Tiffany Li’s actions after homicide scrutinized

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REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KRON) – The morning after Keith Green vanished, police officers showed up on the front doorstep of heiress Tiffany Li’s Hillsborough mansion on West Santa Inez Avenue.

Homicide detectives were on the right path, according to prosecutors. The previous night, prosecutors said, Li had lured the father of her two young daughters into her mansion. Her new boyfriend then allegedly forced a gun inside Green’s mouth. He died instantly from a single gunshot wound, a forensic pathologist testified during this week’s murder trial.

Li, 33, and the accused gunman, Kaveh Bayat, are on trial together, both charged with murder. The trial gravitated widespread attention when Li posted one of the largest bail amounts in U.S. history: $35 million. She has been confined to her $7-million mansion ever since.

Bayat and Green were friends before they became tangled into a love triangle with the wealthy young heiress.

Keith Green / GoFundMe

When police officers left Li’s mansion on the morning of April 29, 2016, she called Green’s cellphone.

No one answered. She left a voicemail. Li’s voice was calm as she said, “Police came to my house this morning. I guess you are missing or something? Give me a call back when you get this.”

But according to prosecutors, Li knew exactly what had happened to Green, 27, of Millbrae. The voicemail was played in court as part of the prosecution’s effort to show the jury that the killing was not only pre-meditated — Li also took steps to make herself appear innocent.

Green went missing for two weeks before his decomposed body was found dumped on a remote Sonoma County field on May 11, 2016. On May 2, Li began searching on Google and Facebook for news articles with the keywords, “Keith Green, missing person,” Sheriff’s Sgt. Johnathan Sebring testified. One article she read was headlined, “Sheriff calls Millbrae man’s disappearance suspicious.”

Meanwhile, Bayat was also searching the internet for news about Green’s missing person case, Sebring said. Bayat searched Google with the keywords, “Missing Millbrae man found,” “Keith Green ex-girlfriend,” and “Keith Green Millbrae Facebook.”

Tiffany Li
FILE – In this Sept. 12, 2019 file photo, Tiffany Li arrives at the courthouse in Redwood City, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

Bayat wrote notes in his iPhone, investigators said. Prosecutors said Bayat and Li told police a “series of lies,” and Bayat was taking notes to keep his story straight, and track what was happening.

Prosecutors showed the jury the text messages exchanged between Li and Green the day of the homicide. In the morning, Li texted Green about meeting later that night to talk. First, Li suggested that they meet in a park at 9 p.m.

Green texted back saying that 9 p.m. was “kinda late” to meet in a park. Li then suggested that they meet at Olivier Adella’s condo on Trousdale Drive in Burlingame. According to prosecutors, Adella was a bodyguard for Li and Bayat, and he had already been hired to dispose of Green’s body.

Li and Green eventually agreed on meeting across the street from an apartment where he had been staying recently. They met in the parking lot of a pancake restaurant.

The last texts Green sent to Li was at 8:53 p.m., “Hey.”

Li texted back, “On my way.”

Green replied, “Ok.”

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

On May 21, 2016, detectives arrested Li and Bayat.

Adella, a mixed martial arts fighter, later confessed that he was paid to transport and dispose of Green’s body after the killing.

The text messages allegedly exchanged between Adella and Bayat in the hours and days following the homicide are disturbing. Adella and Bayat trained together weight lifting. While they were texting each other about meeting up for a workout, Adella sent Bayat a photo of trash bags overflowing out of trash cans, investigators said. The next photo he sent showed the lids of the trash cans closed.

Adella cooperated with investigators in exchange for a plea deal that fell through less than a month before the long-delayed trial began. While he was still cooperating, Adella told detectives that Bayat showed him a gun, and gave him gloves.

Adella claimed Bayat told him, ” “I need you to take out the trash.”

Li’s defense team is arguing that Adella carried out the homicide, and Li and Bayat are innocent. The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office revoked Adella’s plea bargain earlier this month because Adella allegedly contacted a defense witness over social media.

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