Who's Who in Hillsborough Heiress murder case

ByKate Eby KGO logo
Friday, November 15, 2019
WHO'S WHO: Hillsborough Heiress Murder Case
A guide to the people involved in the Hillsborough Heiress murder case including Keith Green, Tiffany Li, Kaveh Bayat, Olivier Adella.

HILLSBOROUGH, Calif. (KGO) -- Hillsborough Heiress Tiffany Li went on trial for murder. Here's a guide to the people involved in the case including Keith Green, Tiffany Li, Kaveh Bayat, and Olivier Adella.


The victim in this case is 27-year-old Keith Green. Late on a Thursday night, April 28, 2016, he crossed the street from the apartment where he'd been staying with a family friend to the Millbrae Pancake House on El Camino Real in Millbrae. Outside the restaurant, he met Tiffany Li, his ex-girlfriend and mother of his children, girls who were ages two and four. Friends say Green and Li went through a bitter breakup the year before.

MURDER MYSTERY TIMELINE: The disappearance of Millbrae resident Keith Green

The day after their meeting, Green's friend reported him missing to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office. Green's cellphone was found by a hiker in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park that same day, but there was no sign of him until May 11, 2016, when Sonoma County sheriffs deputies discovered his body along a dirt road, near Geyserville off Highway 101. Green was wearing only socks. He had a gunshot wound to his neck.


The suspect who turned this case into national news is Tiffany Li. On May 21, 2016, 10 days after Green's body was found, the 30-year-old was arrested at her Hillsborough mansion in the 600 block of West Santa Inez. At the same time and place, detectives arrested 29-year-old Kaveh Bayat, Li's boyfriend. The day before, detectives arrested 40-year-old Olivier Adella at his apartment in the 1800 block of Trousdale in Burlingame. All three suspects were taken to jail, booked on murder and conspiracy charges, and held without bail.

On April 6, 2017, Li made bail and made history. "Somebody charged with murder in San Mateo County is going to post a $35 million bail by posting over $60 million in property, and that is not what we have encountered in San Mateo County before," said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. A group of Li's friends, family and business associates raised $4 million cash and pledged $62 million in property. Li had to turn over her passports, wear an electronic monitor and remain under house arrest.

Bayat remains in jail, unable to post his own $35 million bail.


The enigma in this case is the role of Olivier Adella, a mixed martial arts fighter who worked as a bodyguard and trainer for Li and Bayat.

In an exclusive interview in 2017 with ABC7 News I-Team reporter Dan Noyes, Adella admitted that he disposed of Green's body, but said he feared for his life and his family's safety if he didn't go along with the killing that was carried out by Li and Bayat.

Noyes: "As you're heading north in your car with Keith Green's body in your trunk, what's going through your mind?"

Adella: "What's going through my mind, well, you're a black man in America, my friend. You're screwed. You get rid of the body, you're screwed. Don't get rid of the body, you're screwed."

In February 2018, Adella cut a deal with prosecutors to testify against Li and Bayat. The murder charge against him was dropped and Adella entered a no contest plea to accessory after the fact. He walked out of jail on October 5, 2018.

Less than a year later, he was back behind bars. San Mateo County prosecutors revoked the plea bargain in September 2019, saying Adella broke the terms of the deal by allegedly contacting a defense witness through social media.


The plea deal change pushed back the start of the trial, which had already been delayed multiple times for multiple reasons, including medical treatments for Li. Since her arrest, she's been diagnosed with breast cancer and has been undergoing treatment including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

Prosecutors say Li planned the murder and that Bayat pulled the trigger. The defense argues that Adella is the real killer.

Opening statements in the trial took place on Sept. 23, 2019. On Nov. 15, 2019, the jury announced it had reached verdicts. Li was acquitted. Bayat was found not guilty on a gun charge. The jury was hung on all other charges and the judge declared a mistrial. Bayat is due back in court on Dec. 4, 2019. Follow the latest here.