A San Francisco real estate heiress was acquitted Friday of murdering the father of her children, ending more than two years of house arrest after her family posted one of the highest bail amounts on record.
After 12 days of deliberation, jurors found Tiffany Li not guilty of killing Keith Green in 2016 over a custody dispute. The case gained widespread attention when Li's family -- which built a fortune in real estate -- posted her unprecedented $35 million bail.
Li's attorney, Geoffrey Carr, told reporters his client plans to travel to China to see her family and strengthen her relationship with her children.
“Any time any defendant is found not guilty in a serious crime, they’re (given) a gift by somebody — I don’t believe in God, but somebody — and they should pay attention,” he said.
Carr said Li's defense team of three lawyers and four investigators would have worked just as hard had they been appointed by a judge to a poor defendant, adding that her fortune played no role in her acquittal.
San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said his office was disappointed with the verdict.
"As we always say, this is how the jury system works, and we respect the jury for what it does," he said.
Prosecutors said Li lured Green to her San Francisco-area mansion where her boyfriend, Kaveh Bayat, shot him in the mouth. They contend the couple hired two people to dispose of the body.
Green's body was found along a dirt road just north of San Francisco nearly two weeks later. Blood evidence was found in Li's Mercedes-Benz and gunshot residue was discovered in her garage, prosecutors said.
Li's attorneys deny she had anything to do with the slaying. They argued Green was killed in a botched kidnapping attempt. They said she had already settled the custody dispute with Green.
Prosecutors suffered a setback this month when a witness, Oliver Adella, was arrested on suspicion of contacting an ex-girlfriend and witness for the defense. Adella was prepared to testify that Li and Bayat asked him to dispose of Green's body.
He was never called to the stand. Bayat was acquitted of gun charges, but jurors were deadlocked on the murder charges, prompting a judge to declare a mistrial in his case.
Charges are pending for Adella.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.