REDWOOD CITY (KRON) – A Sonoma County forensic pathologist testified Wednesday about the last moments of Keith Green’s life. Dr. Anthony Chapman was certain that someone put a gun inside Green’s mouth before firing a single shot.
Chinese heiress Tiffany Li and her boyfriend, Kaveh Bayat, are accused of plotting, carrying out, and trying to cover up the killing.
Green’s friends and family wiped away tears as prosecutors showed the jury a photograph of Green’s heavily decomposed body. The 27-year-old Millbrae man was found dead in an empty field in Sonoma County in mid-May of 2016. He was the father of Li’s two young daughters.
Chapman testified that Green died about two weeks before his unclothed body was found in the field. A bullet had penetrated through the back of the victim’s neck, Chapman testified, and Green died instantly.
The person accused of pulling the trigger is Bayat, Li’s new boyfriend and Green’s former friend.
Evidence presented by prosecutors depict a love triangle that unraveled into tragedy.
During cross examination Wednesday, Li’s defense attorney, Geoff Carr, presented photographs of Green suffering from facial injuries that he suffered not long before he was slain. Green had texted the photographs to his girlfriend at the time, Cynthia Pinto, and wrote to Pinto, “Thanks for beating up my face. I guess this is you being a good girlfriend. “
The focus of Wednesday’s cross examinations were centered on Chapman and San Mateo Sheriff’s Sgt. Johnathan Sebring. Sebring analyzed thousands of pages of cellular data recorded by the cellphones of Green, Li, Bayat, and Li’s bodyguard Olivier Adella, in the weeks before, and after, the homicide.
Prosecutors are using the texts and phone calls to convince the jury that a high level of conspiracy, plotting, and cover-up were committed by Li, Bayat, and Adella.
As part of a plea deal, Adella admitted to being paid to get rid of Green’s body. Adella, however, violated the terms of the plea deal agreement, so he is not able to testify during the high-profile trial.
On Wednesday, while the jury was out of the courtroom, Li’s defense team counter-argued that the text messages being read in court were narrowly selected, without sufficient context, in order to paint Li and Bayat as calculated killers.
Carr called for the judge to declare a mistrial, even though opening statements had occurred just two days earlier. The defense said prosecutors were presenting evidence, mostly text messages, to the jury that had never been shown to the defense team to review ahead of time.
“I’m very concerned. This is not the way this was supposed to go,” Carr said.
The judge quickly denied the mistrial motion, and the trial resumed.
Li has remained out of jail in lieu of one of the largest bail amounts in U.S. history: $35 million. Her family’s fortune was amassed from real estate construction in China. Bayat remains behind bars.
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