REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) — After spending more than two years out of jail on a record $35 million bail, the murder trial of a Hillsborough socialite was supposed to get underway Thursday but then the judge delayed it for a week.
It was the second time the proceedings for Tiffany Li have been delayed. The trial was delayed for nearly a year last September after Li was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer.
Her attorney, Geoffrey Carr, told the San Jose Mercury News that Li was in remission after two surgeries and chemotherapy treatment.
Li is accused of plotting to kill her ex-boyfriend Keith Green in a custody dispute over their two children.
Prosecutors say Li conspired with her then-new boyfriend Kaveh Bayat to shoot Green on April 28, 2016 while he sat in her Mercedes in her driveway after meeting her at the Millbrae Pancake House.
Li and Bayat then allegedly turned to a friend, Olivier Adella, to get rid of the evidence.
Green’s cell phone was found in Golden Gate Park and his nearly naked body later turned up off a dirt road in Sonoma County.
Adella has agreed to a plea deal and was expected to take the stand as a key witness at Li and Bayat’s trial. Li and Bayat are being tried together; both have pleaded not guilty and both accuse Adella of the crime.
On Thursday, surrounded by her legal team, Li quietly entered the courthouse without interacting with reporters.
“She’s happy to have her day in court, but I’ve been through this many times with many clients facing a murder trial, it’s nerve-wracking for everybody,” said Geoff Carr, Li’s attorney.
A jury of 10 women and six men plus four alternates is seated but opening statements were
abruptly postponed minutes before the start of the trial.
The $35 million bail is the highest ever in San Mateo County’s history, a county official said. It was based on the prosecutors fears that Li was a flight risk.
She was also ordered to surrender her passport to make it difficult to flee the country.
“She’s been under house arrest effectively for over two years,” said Carr. “She’s actually a little agoraphobic being in there for so long. She’s more comfortable indoors somewhat.”
Prosecutors were not available for comment. The 31-year-old is backed by a group that raised $4 million cash and pledged $62 million in San Francisco Bay Area property. California courts require twice the bail amount if property is used instead of cash.
Li also has been on round-the-clock electronic monitoring. Opening statements are now scheduled for Tuesday.
The case is drawing international attention from China, where many of Li’s closest family members still reside.
Len Ramirez contributed to ths report.