Keith Green HS football star

One of the oddest stories of murder in a while comes from the San Francisco area. There, prosecutors say Tiffany Li orchestrated the murder of former high school football star Keith Green, the father of her two children.

Li, who was born in Beijing to wealthy parents and grew up in Silicon Valley, met Green around 2009 after he returned to his hometown of San Mateo after dropping out of Eastern Washington University. They soon moved in together, and later moved to a newly-constructed $7 million mansion Li’s mother had built in the San Francisco suburb of Hillsborough. Li gave birth to daughters in 2012 and 2014, and the couple was together through the fall of 2015, when Li kicked Green out and a custody battle over their daughters began.

They finally came to an agreement where Green could eventually reach 50 per cent custody. However, a few days before his first weekend visit with his daughters, he disappeared. As per NBC Bay Area, prosecutors say Li, her boyfriend Kaveh Bayat (a friend of Green’s, and one he had introduced to her), and Bayat’s bodyguard Olivier Adella were involved in killing Green and disposing of his body:

Prosecutors say Green agreed to meet Li in a restaurant parking lot in Millbrae, near San Mateo, the night of April 28, 2016.

Li told detectives they sat in her car for about an hour, discussing their children, then Green left after an amicable talk. But court records show investigators tracked both of their cellphones back to her mansion.

A walker found Green’s body nearly two weeks later 70 miles (113 kilometers) north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

A few days after that, using phone records, police arrested Olivier Adella, a 6-foot-5 (2-meter) French-born mixed martial arts professional who describes himself as Bayat’s bodyguard. He has since opted to cooperate with police.

He said Li and Bayat showed up at his apartment the night of the restaurant meeting with Green’s body in the front passenger seat of Li’s SUV, blood coming from his mouth and ears.

Olivier told detectives Bayat showed him a handgun stuffed in his waistband and handed him gloves.

“I need you to take out the trash,” Olivier says Bayat told him.

This is all alleged, and lawyers for Li deny her involvement and say Olivier is lying. That will be decided in the trial in September. But there are many in the sports world who remember Green fondly, especially for his time as an athlete at San Mateo’s Aragon High School, where he played baseball and basketball as well as football. Around 50 people recently showed up at a vigil for the one-year anniversary of Green’s death, and his coach told NBC Bay Area he had fond memories of him:

Steve Sell, Green’s high school football coach, said Green led the team to an undefeated season and a playoff win in 2005, earning a half-scholarship to Eastern Washington University. But he dropped out after a year and drifted from temporary job to unemployment.

“Tremendous athlete,” said Sell, who noted Green also played baseball and basketball. “Popular and funny.”

It’s unfortunate that Green’s college career didn’t work out better, and it’s truly sad that his life came to an end so early. It will be interesting to see what comes of this trial.

[NBC Bay Area]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.