Victim's family, friends outraged after murder suspect posts $35M bail

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- A Chinese real estate scion charged with orchestrating the murder of her children’s father was released from a San Francisco Bay Area jail Thursday after posting $35 million bail, a highly unusual financial transaction that startled and angered the victim’s family and friends.

Tiffany Li will remain out of custody after family, friends and her mother’s business associates raised $4 million cash and pledged Bay Area properties worth a combined $62 million to post her bail. Courts require double the bail amount when property is pledged instead of cash.

Li, 31, is charged with directing her boyfriend and another man to kill Keith Green, 27, and dispose of his body, which was found in May with a bullet wound to the neck 80 miles north of the suburban San Francisco mansion he and Li once shared with their two young daughters.

It was an emotional day for Green’s friends and family as they watched the mother of his children and his accused killer take one step closer to walking out of jail.

“We kind of knew it was coming. Nothing seems right about it at all,” said Angela Dunn, a family friend who told CBS San Francisco that Green lived with her the last six months of his life. “Money can get you all sorts of things.”

She says knowing his accused killer is about to walk of jail is difficult for everyone, especially Green’s mother.

“And she’s grieving terribly. I mean, what can I tell you? It’s her only child. We’ve seen the evidence and it’s terrible,” said Dunn.

Court records show 15 properties being pledged. Li’s attorney Carr said the properties are owned by family and business associates of Li’s mother, who spends most of her time in China where she profited from real estate investments.

Prosecutors say Li feared she would lose custody of her daughters. Li and the two men were arrested shortly after Green’s body was found and the trio is scheduled to stand trial in September. Li has pleaded not guilty.

A bodyguard ushered Li out of jail and into a waiting Cadillac Escalade Thursday afternoon, three hours after a judge ordered her released. The two men charged in the case remain in jail and haven’t asked for bail to be set because they don’t have the financial backing Li has, Li’s attorney Geoff Carr said.

“They have great resources and we are just regular folks,” Dunn said.

The bail system in the United States has been under legal and legislative attack in recent years. A number of class action lawsuits have been filed across the country challenging the constitutionality of requiring defendants to post cash bail to go free before trial. Critics of the system argue that cash bail schemes like the one found in California state court unfairly disadvantage poor suspects who can’t afford to post bail while allowing wealthy defendants like Li to go free pending trial.

Authorities in neighboring San Francisco County say they are examining cash bail requirements there after inmates filed a lawsuit.

Two California legislators have introduced bills seeking to dramatically overhaul the state’s bail requirements, eliminating cash demands in most cases and taking into account a suspect’s income in cases still requiring money bail.

The California lawmakers and supporters of their bills argue that the current system keeps many innocent people behind bars, disproportionately affects minority defendants and encourages some suspects to plead guilty simply to get out of jail.

Li is charged with directing her boyfriend Kaveh Bayat and Olivier Adella to kill Green and dispose of his body last year. Li and Green had an acrimonious split in October 2015 after Green discovered Li’s relationship with Bayat, Dunn said.

Li kicked Green out of the multimillion dollar home they shared with their children in Hillsborough, a suburb of mansions and large houses 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of San Francisco.

Carr said all defendants except those accused of death penalty-eligible crimes are entitled to “reasonable bail.”

The $35 million bail is the highest ever in San Mateo County’s history, a county official said.

San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said he’s concerned Li is a flight risk and is disappointed the judge didn’t set the bail even higher. His office asked for $100 million.

“If convicted she faces the rest of her life in prison,” Wagstaffe said. “That’s plenty enough incentive to flee back to her native China.”

Li will be required to turn over her passports, wear an electronic monitor and remain under house arrest.

Carr says the people who posted Li’s bail believe she is innocent and will not flee. If she does go on the lam, the court can confiscate the property and cash.

SAN MATEO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE. One report described the bail sum as 'mind boggling'



California murder suspect Tiffany Li raises $65m bail

A California woman suspected of murdering the father of her two children is hoping to be released from prison after raising $65m (£52m) bail.

Tiffany Li, 31, posted $4m in cash and pledged $61m in property, raised from a group of friends, family and business associates, the Associated Press said.

The bail had been set at $35m, but California courts require double the amount if property is used.

Her lawyer said she was "well-liked in the community", the LA Times reported.

"I was surprised at the number of people that came forward," Geoff Carr said, "I think people believe she is not guilty," he told the newspaper.

Ms Li has pleaded not guilty to charges that she conspired with her boyfriend, Kaveh Bayat, and another man, Olivier Adella, to kill Keith Green, 27, and dispose of his body last year.

'Very disappointing'
Prosecutors say she feared losing custody of her young children to Mr Green.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told the LA Times the bail sum - described as "mind boggling" in one news report - would be the highest ever posted in the wealthy county's history.

He said he believed her to be a flight risk, but that lawyers on both sides had agreed that if the expected release went ahead she would have to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, be under house arrest and surrender her passport as well as her children's.

Mr Carr said he expected Ms Li, a Chinese-born property manager and former stockbroker, to be released on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

A family friend of Mr Green, Angela Dunn, said news of the bail was "very disappointing", ABC7 reported.
Mr Green and Ms Li had met on 28 April at a pancake restaurant near her home in Hillsborough, an area south of San Francisco, considered one of the wealthiest communities in the US.

But he never returned home. His body was found nearly two weeks later, some 80 miles (128km) north. He had been shot dead.

A week after that, Ms Li, Mr Adella and Mr Bayat were arrested on suspicion of murder.


'Nothing About This Seems Right': A Murder Suspect Was Released After Posting $35 Million Bail

(REDWOOD CITY, Calif.) — A Chinese real estate scion charged with orchestrating the murder of her children's father was released from a San Francisco Bay Area jail after posting $35 million bail, a highly unusual financial transaction that startled and angered the victim's family and friends.

Tiffany Li will remain out of custody after family, friends and her mother's business associates raised $4 million cash and pledged Bay Area properties worth a combined $62 million to post her bail. Courts require double the bail amount when property is pledged instead of cash.

"Nothing about this seems right," said Angela Dunn, a close friend of the victim who shared her home with him in the six months before his death. Dunn said the victim's mother is taking Li's release especially hard.

Court records show 15 properties being pledged. Li's attorney Carr said the properties are owned by family and business associates of Li's mother, who spends most of her time in China where she profited from real estate investments.

Li, 31, is charged with directing her boyfriend and another man to kill Keith Green, 27, and dispose of his body, which was found in May with a bullet wound to the neck 80 miles (129 kilometers) north of the suburban San Francisco mansion he and Li once shared with their two young daughters.

Prosecutors say Li feared she would lose custody of her daughters. Li and the two men were arrested shortly after Green's body was found and the trio is scheduled to stand trial in September. Li has pleaded not guilty.
A bodyguard ushered Li out of jail and into a waiting Cadillac Escalade Thursday afternoon, three hours after a judge ordered her released. The two men charged in the case remain in jail and haven't asked for bail to be set because they don't have the financial backing Li has, Li's attorney Geoff Carr said.

"They have great resources and we are just regular folks," Dunn said.

The bail system in the United States has been under legal and legislative attack in recent years. A number of class action lawsuits have been filed across the country challenging the constitutionality of requiring defendants to post cash bail to go free before trial. Critics of the system argue that cash bail schemes like the one found in California state court unfairly disadvantage poor suspects who can't afford to post bail while allowing wealthy defendants like Li to go free pending trial.

Authorities in neighboring San Francisco County say they are examining cash bail requirements there after inmates filed a lawsuit.

Two California legislators have introduced bills seeking to dramatically overhaul the state's bail requirements, eliminating cash demands in most cases and taking into account a suspect's income in cases still requiring money bail.

The California lawmakers and supporters of their bills argue that the current system keeps many innocent people behind bars, disproportionately affects minority defendants and encourages some suspects to plead guilty simply to get out of jail.

Li is charged with directing her boyfriend Kaveh Bayat and Olivier Adella to kill Green and dispose of his body last year. Li and Green had an acrimonious split in October 2015 after Green discovered Li's relationship with Bayat, Dunn said.

Li kicked Green out of the multimillion dollar home they shared with their children in Hillsborough, a suburb of mansions and large houses 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of San Francisco.

Carr said all defendants except those accused of death penalty-eligible crimes are entitled to "reasonable bail."
The $35 million bail is the highest ever in San Mateo County's history, a county official said.

San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said he's concerned Li is a flight risk and is disappointed the judge didn't set the bail even higher. His office asked for $100 million.

"If convicted she faces the rest of her life in prison," Wagstaffe said. "That's plenty enough incentive to flee back to her native China."

Li will be required to turn over her passports, wear an electronic monitor and remain under house arrest.Carr says the people who posted Li's bail believe she is innocent and will not flee. If she does go on the lam, the court can confiscate the property and cash.

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