A TikTok star with nearly a million online followers plead not guilty yesterday (October 25) for shooting and killing his recently estranged wife and a man she was with last week.
Per the Union-Tribune, prosecutors said 29-year-old Ali Abulaban had secretively installed a listening device on his 5-year-old daughter’s tablet device, and when he heard his wife and another man talking, he went to her San Diego apartment and shot them to death. After killing them, Abulaban picked up his daughter from school still armed, Deputy District Attorney Taren Brast said.
During the San Diego County Superior Court arraignment for Abulaban, he plead not guilty to two counts of murder as well as special-circumstance allegations of multiple killings, the newspaper reported. Police identified the victims as Ana Abulaban, 28, of San Diego and Rayburn Cadenas Barron, 29, of National City.
About two dozen family members and friends of the two victims packed the courtroom, with several of them crying as Brast shared details about last Thursday’s killings.
Brast said Ali Abulaban confessed to detectives and accused his wife of cheating, although the prosecutor said she believes Barron was a friend. According to Brast, Ana Abulaban had asked her husband to move out October 18, with him checking into a hotel. Three days later, Ali Abulaban sneaked back into the apartment and trashed it while his wife was gone, using that time to install the listening app on his daughter’s iPad.
Hours later, Abulaban was listening to the app when he heard his wife and a man talking and giggling, Brast said, and he raced back to the high-rise. Security camera video showed him running out of the elevator to the apartment.
Brast said Abulaban shot Barron three times before shooting his wife in the head, then called his mother and confessed. After picking up his daughter, he called police while driving and they arrested him 45 minutes later.
Judge Kimberlee Lagotta ordered Abulaban jailed without bail. The judge also issued a protective order that requires Abulaban to stay away from his daughter, who is being cared for by family.