Heiress Tiffany Li murder trial: Tracking lies

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REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KRON) – Tiffany Li, the millionaire heiress accused of plotting a hit job to make her ex-boyfriend disappear, lied to police in the aftermath of the killing, according to prosecutors.

One key witnesses said Li was worried about a statement she made to police since the beginning of the homicide investigation.

Tiffany Li / Oct. 8, 2019
Tiffany Li / Oct. 8, 2019

The 33-year-old millionaire and her boyfriend, Kaveh Bayat, are on trial together, both charged with murdering Keith Green, the father of Li’s two young daughters.

Witness Uta Bredenstein testified that Li confided in her during the two weeks that Green was missing. According to Bredenstein, the heiress admitted lying to police when she told officers that Green was not in her car as she drove from Millbrae Pancake House to her Hillsborough mansion the night of April 28, 2016.

After Li told police that she left Green in the pancake house parking lot and returned home alone, officers told her that Green’s cellphone was tracked by cell towers moving from the pancake house to her mansion. Li stuck to her story that Green was not in her car.

Bredenstein is the wife of Olivier Adella, a Mixed Martial Arts fighter who admitted to prosecutors that he accepted thousands of dollars in exchange for driving and dumping Green’s body in a remote field.

Green and Li weathered a stormy breakup in the fall of 2015 when Li began dating Bayat. Green moved out of the mansion and Bayat moved in. According to prosecutors, Green was lured by Li to her mansion, shot to death by Bayat inside the garage, driven north by Adella, and left lifeless in a field.

Defense attorneys are arguing that Adella carried out the slaying by himself. They say Green’s cellphone was tracked near Li’s moving vehicle because Adella was following close behind in a second car, with Green inside.

Keith Green
Keith Green

While cross-examining intelligence analyst Aaron Edens on Tuesday, one of Li’s attorneys, Geoff Carr, asked about how precisely a cellphone’s location can actually be pinpointed. Edens said if a car was in fact following Li’s car that night, there would be no way to know which car the cellphone was inside of.

“There would not be any way to differentiate that. There is no way I could tell, if another vehicle was following her in close proximity,” Edens testified.

Li is not the only person connected to the homicide case who is accused failing to be forthcoming with police. During initial questioning with detectives, Bredenstein claimed that Adella was with her at home the entire night that Green disappeared. She later admitted that he was gone for several hours. Around 3 a.m., she became angry because her husband had been gone for so long. She tried calling twice, but Adella never answered.

Dozens of witnesses have taken the witness stand since the trial began last month. Prosecutors are expected to rest their case on Wednesday before the defense begins to unroll their witness roster on Thursday.

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

In the meantime, Li remains freed from custody in lieu of $35 million bail, one of the largest bail amounts posted in U.S. history. During lunch breaks, Li usually strolls out of the front door of the courthouse with an unknown woman, and has lunch in a private law office a couple blocks away.

While her friends, family members and reporters were filing back into the courtroom on Tuesday, Li was standing at the water cooler in the gallery before returning to her seat next to her defense team. Li’s wealth comes from her family’s real estate business in China.

Bayat has been unable to post his own $35 million bail and remains in jail custody. Li and Bayat sit about four feet away from eachother in court each day, but never exchange eye contact.

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