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California

Real estate heiress who posted $35-million bail acquitted of murder

Tiffany Li, who was accused of murder in the death of her children’s father
An undated booking photo of Tiffany Li.
(San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office)

A San Francisco Bay Area real estate heiress whose family posted $35-million bail to keep her out of jail until her trial was acquitted Friday of killing the father of her children.

After deliberating for 12 days, jurors said Tiffany Li is not guilty of conspiring with her boyfriend to kill 27-year-old Keith Green in 2016 over a custody dispute.

The case drew global attention when Li’s family, who made a fortune in real estate construction in China, posted $35-million bail for her, one of the highest on record in the United States.

San Mateo County prosecutors said Li lured Green to her mansion in Hillsborough, south of San Francisco, to discuss custody of their children. They also said that Li’s boyfriend Kaveh Bayat shot Green in the mouth and that the two hired a friend to dispose of the body.

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Prosecutors presented evidence that Green’s blood was found in Li’s Mercedes-Benz and that gunshot residue was discovered in her garage.

Li’s attorneys argued that Green was killed in a botched kidnapping plot and that she had nothing to do with his death. She had settled the custody issues with her former boyfriend, they said.

Green’s body was found along a dirt road north of San Francisco nearly two weeks after he was last seen meeting with Li about their children. The pair met around 2009.

The prosecution faced a setback this month when its chief witness, Olivier Adella, was arrested on suspicion of contacting an ex-girlfriend and witness for the defense. Adella was expected to testify that Li and Bayat asked him to dispose of Green’s body, but prosecutors did not call him as a witness.


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