Cheers in court as TikTok star Ali Abulaban convicted in double murder

Posted at 5:19 PM, May 29, 2024

SAN DIEGO (Court TV) — The judge had to briefly pause the reading of the verdict for a TikTok star convicted of murdering his wife and her friend after cheers erupted in the courtroom.

Ali Abulaban cries after hearing the verdict

Ali Abulaban cried after the verdict was read in court on May 29, 2024. (Court TV/Pool)

After deliberating for several hours over two days, a jury found Ali Abulaban guilty of two charges of first-degree murder, as well as firearms enhancements, for the deaths of his wife, Ana Abulaban, and her friend, Rayburn Barron.

Ali, who remained stoic through the reading of the verdict, broke down and sobbed after the jury left the courtroom. He faces a potential sentence of life in prison without parole when he is sentenced on June 28, 2024.

READ MORE | ‘I’m shooting and I can’t stop’: TikTok star Ali Abulaban takes the stand

Ali had never denied pulling the trigger and killing the victims but had instead argued that the shootings were a crime of passion after he discovered that his wife was having a relationship with another man. But prosecutors argued that Ali had bugged the apartment specifically to catch his wife cheating and showed up to find them with a gun already loaded. “He carefully weighed his options,” prosecutors said. “He decided to kill before he entered that apartment and shot Ana and Ray to death.”

In testimony spanning several days and setting a courtroom record for the longest a defendant sat on the witness stand, Ali admitted to abusing Ana on multiple occasions. “I snapped,” Ali said, recalling one incident in their bed. “I rolled on top of Ana and I began punching her.” His attorneys had argued that he was “emotionally, mentally, physically compromised” and never planned the lethal attack.