Say What Now? TikTok Star Found Guilty of Killing Wife, Man He Thought She Was Sleeping With |

Say What Now? TikTok Star Found Guilty of Killing Wife, Man He Thought She Was Sleeping With

“He was so possessive and controlling of Ana that if he could not have her, no one could. And she couldn’t live, and any man she was with could not live, either.” – Prosecutor Taren Brast

The jury hearing evidence at the high-profile trial of Ali Abulaban, who is accused of killing his estranged wife and her friend in October of 2021, found the former TikToker guilty of two counts of 1st-degree murder Wednesday.

Abulaban, 32, who went by “JinnKid” on social media and has been in prison since the day of the shootings of Ana Abulaban and Rayburn Cardenas Barron, admitted during the trial that he killed the pair.

As the judge read the first verdict, the gallery erupted in cheers and Abulaban turned to see the commotion. An emotional Abulaban later held his hand to his face and wiped tears from his eyes as the court discussed his sentencing date, which was set for June 28. He could face life in prison.

“Finally, my brother and Ana got a little bit of justice,” Barron’s sister, Jordana Barron, said on Wednesday. “Obviously nothing is going to bring our brother or Ana back, but at least he is never going to be able to do this to another person again.”

On Friday, closing arguments in the case concluded and the jury began deliberating the case, deciding whether the killings were first- or second-degree murder. Deliberations continued on Tuesday, then, late on Wednesday morning, they announced they had reached a verdict.

Abulaban was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, with allegations of using a gun in the killings. He was also charged with a special circumstance allegation of committing multiple murders. The defense was hopeful the jury could have found him guilty of second-degree murder and his sentencing exposure would have been far less. He was instead found guilty of all counts and special circumstances.

“It’s the relief. We’ve been waiting almost three years for this,” Julia Stuntz, Ana’s best friend, said Wednesday.

Since there was no dispute he killed the victims, jurors were instead tasked with deciding whether the killings were intentional and premeditated or committed in the heat of passion.

“The jury came in and listened to the evidence for weeks, and they came to the right decision,” Deputy District Attorney Taren Brast said.

Closing Arguments

Brast began her closing arguments in the downtown courtroom by asking the jury to find Abulaban guilty of two counts of first-degree murder. She went through a timeline of the day Abulaban killed Ana Abulaban and her friend Barron, describing how Ali had spied on Ana to catch her with another man and that he had malice and intent to shoot them to death on the couch in the apartment where he once lived.

“Heat of passion does not apply when you walk into an apartment that you had bugged, with a key card you were not supposed to have, to a fight that no one else knew was happening but you,” Brast said. “And you brought a gun. That is not heat of passion,”

Brast said Ali had plenty of time to rethink his decision to drive to the downtown luxury condo he shared with his wife to shoot and kill her and the man she was seeing.

The prosecutor displayed the graphic photos Abulaban took of the bodies, played the sounds of the gunshot recordings he had on his phone and even mentioned the online searches for how to cut up and trash a body, among other things. She said Ali Abulaban killed the couple because he felt disrespected, and this was planned and premeditated, not a reaction in the heat of the moment that Abulaban claims.

Brast also mentioned the history of domestic violence and Ana’s text messages to Ali expressing her fear and desire to leave the marriage, and the chances he had to rethink his actions, including during the drive to the apartment to confront Ana and Barron, and even in the ride up in the elevator.

“It was willful, deliberate and premeditated,” Brast said.

Jodi Green, Ali Abulaban’s defense attorney, then presented her closing arguments. Green told the court her client shouldn’t be convicted of murder because he had a bad childhood, mental health issues and was high on cocaine.

“Ali Abulaban is not a murderer,” Green said. “Yes, he killed Ana, the woman he loved, the mother of his beautiful daughter, Amira, and he killed Ray, a man with whom Ana was having an affair. And he cannot undo what he has done, but he did not murder them. He is not a murderer.”

Green said it was manipulation and that Ana dragged Ali along.

“This relationship between Ana and Ali at this time is the apex of human emotion. It may not be your marriage, it may not be my marriage, but it is their marriage in its heightened state of despair.” – Defense attorney Jodi Green

The defense attorney also pointed out the fact that Ali Abulaban was re-racking his gun in between shots, which is unnecessary, and that it proves he was out of his mind, as well that he had cocaine in his system eight hours later, proving he was not of sound mind.

via: NBC San Diego

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