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DA says dismissed testimony hurt case against Tiffany Li

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Superior Court of California, San Mateo County in Redwood City, Calif.

A jury found a wealthy Hillsborough woman not guilty of killing the father of her two children in 2016 in an alleged conspiracy with her boyfriend, prosecutors said Friday.

Tiffany Li, 34, and her boyfriend Kaveh Bayat, 33, had been charged with murder and conspiracy to murder for the shooting death of Keith Green.

After reading the verdict regarding Li, the jury returned to deliberations for Bayat, but was deadlocked 6-6 on a murder charge and 7-5 on the conspiracy to murder charge.

A friend of theirs, Oliver Adella, was accused of helping dispose of Green’s body along the side of the road in Sonoma County.

In February, prosecutors had reached a plea deal with Adella in exchange for testifying against Li and Bayat, but prosecutors moved to set aside his plea agreement when his testimony was dismissed from the trial at the last minute.

Green disappeared on April 28, 2016, after he went to meet Li at the Millbrae Pancake House. He had left his wallet and car keys at home and had only his cellphone, which a hiker found in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park the next day.

He remained missing until May 11, when his body was discovered down an embankment north of Healdsburg. Dental records were used to identify him.

Li and Bayat were arrested at their home in Hillsborough about 10 days later. Prosecutors alleged that Li was concerned she would lose custody of her two children to Green.

The jury deliberated for 11 days before returning the not guilty verdict for Li. She had been under home electronic monitoring after posting $35 million bail, which she paid with $4 million in cash and $62 million in property bonds.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said it is “impossible to predict” whether Bayat, who had been in custody on $35 million bail, would be retried, adding:

“With a 6-6 split, we will need something additional to proceed.”

Wagstaffe said it was “also impossible to estimate” how much the exclusion of testimony by Adella hurt the prosecution.

Wagstaffe said:

“(I)f he had truthfully testified, it would have made a great difference. But he was not a trustworthy witness and I would not allow us to present to a jury testimony from such a disreputable witness, as we ultimately learned.”

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