A TikTok star with nearly a million online followers has been accused of shooting and killing his wife and her friend amid fears she was cheating on him.
On Monday, Ali Abulaban, 29, a comedian known on social media for his impressions, pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder as well as special-circumstance allegations of multiple killings, the Union-Tribune reported.
Prosecutors told a San Diego, California, court Abulaban stormed into his newly estranged wife’s luxury high-rise apartment on Thursday — just days after she had kicked him out of the home.
Deputy District Attorney Taran Brast told the court Abulaban’s wife, Ana Abulaban, 28, had asked her husband to move out on October 18 and was planning on ending the marriage and obtaining a restraining order, FOX 5 reports.
Ms Brast told local media Ana had previously called police on her husband in September, saying he had pushed her in front of their young daughter.
Three days after moving into a hotel, Abulaban sneaked back into the couple’s apartment on Thursday using a key he kept secretly and trashed it while his wife was gone, the prosecutor said.
He also surreptitiously installed a listening app on his daughter’s iPad, the court heard.
Hours later, Abulaban was listening to the app via his mobile phone when he heard his wife and a man talking and giggling, Ms Brast said, and he raced back to the high-rise, FOX 5 reports.
Security camera video showed him running out of the elevator to the apartment, she said.
Ms Brast told the court Abulaban shot his wife’s friend, Rayburn Cadenas Barron, 29, three times before shooting Ana in her forehead.
Devastated family members of the victims could be heard crying and gasping in shock in footage of the court hearing as details of the shooting emerged, FOX 5 reports.
“The defendant fled the apartment,” Ms Brast said.
“Neighbours had heard the gunshots, witnessed the defendant leaving the apartment. Then he made a phone call to his mother admitting that he shot and killed his wife.”
Ms Brast said Abulaban allegedly confessed to the killing.
“The defendant then fled the building, went to pick up his daughter from school, still had the loaded gun in his car,” Ms Brast said, FOX 5 reports.
“Told his daughter that he ‘hurt mommy’ and then he was soon apprehended by the police.”
After he picked up his daughter, Abulaban called police while driving and they arrested him 45 minutes later. His daughter was in the vehicle.
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.
Alleged killer uploaded TikTok hours before shooting
Abulaban, 29, is a TikTok star known as JinnKid, who has more than 940,000 followers on the social media app as well as more than 260,000 followers on Instagram.
His account features comedy skits and impersonations of the character Tony Montana from the 1983 film “Scarface.”
His last TikTok was uploaded on Thursday — the same day he allegedly murdered his wife and Mr Barron.
In the video, Abulaban impersonates Tony Montana failing an immigration interview.
“You ever been in jail,” Abulaban, posing as the immigration officer, says to ‘Tony Montana’.
His account has been flooded with comments calling for his account to be removed from the website.
Ana was also active on social media, with more than 10,000 TikTok followers. She posted footage of her husband, calling him her best friend and the best dad to their daughter in the months before her death.
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