A man accused of fatally shooting his wife and another man at an East Village high-rise apartment building pleaded not guilty Monday to murder charges.
Ali Nasser Abulaban, 29, is accused in last Thursday’s killings of 28-year-old Ana Abulaban and 29-year-old Rayburn Cardenas Barron at the Spire San Diego luxury apartment complex.
Abulaban is charged with both murders, allegations of using a handgun in the slayings, and a special circumstance allegation of committing multiple murders, meaning he could face the death penalty if convicted and prosecutors choose to pursue capital punishment.
Police were called around 3:10 p.m. that day and found the victims dead in the living room of a unit on the 35th floor of the complex on Island Avenue, SDPD Lt. Adam Sharki said.
With his 5-year-old daughter in the car, Abulaban was stopped by police later that day near the interchange of the 805 and 15 freeways, Sharki said.
According to Deputy District Attorney Taren Brast, Ana Abulaban was attempting to leave the marriage, in part due to a prior domestic violence incident in which her husband pushed her.
On Oct. 18, Ana Abulaban asked her husband to move out of their apartment, but according to Brast, he secretly made a copy of the apartment key.
Brast said that while his wife was away, he used the copied key to enter the apartment on Oct. 21, vandalized the unit, then installed an app on his daughter’s iPad that allowed him to monitor live conversations inside the apartment.
When he later heard his wife and another man in the apartment over the app, the prosecutor said he drove to the complex from a Mission Bay hotel where he was staying and shot both victims.
After fleeing the scene, Abulaban picked his daughter up from her school and at some point told her that he “hurt Mommy,” Brast said. The child is now in the care of other family members.
Abulaban allegedly confessed to committing the shooting to his mother in a phone call, then later to detectives when questioned, Brast said.
He remains held in custody without bail and is due back in court Thursday for a status conference.
Abulaban has more than 940,000 followers on TikTok, on which he goes by JinnKid, according to Fox 5 San Diego.