A social media personality accused of fatally shooting his wife and another man at an East Village high-rise apartment building was ordered Monday to stand trial on murder charges.
Ali Nasser Abulaban, 29, is charged in the shooting deaths of 28-year-old Ana Abulaban and 29-year-old Rayburn Cardenas Barron at the Spire San Diego luxury apartment complex.
Police were called around 3:10 p.m. Oct. 21 and found both victims dead on a couch in the living room of the Abulabans’ 35th floor unit, according to preliminary hearing testimony.
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 and arrested.
Abulaban, who went by the handle JinnKid on various social media platforms, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, 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. He remains in custody without bail.
Prosecutors allege Abulaban believed his wife was cheating on him with Barron, though Deputy District Attorney Taren Brast said Ana Abulaban had moved on from their marriage long before the shooting.
Brast said the couple had been separated “for quite some time,” but the defendant continued to pursue reconciliation with his wife.
According to preliminary hearing testimony, the fallout of the Abulabans’ marriage was precipitated by incidents of domestic violence and indications that Abulaban had been cheating on his wife with other women.
A husband and wife who lived across from the Abulabans separately testified that about a month prior to the shooting, Ana Abulaban had knocked on their door and asked them to call the police because she said her husband had hit her. They testified that she asked to use their phone because she said the defendant had taken hers.
They also testified that the police had been called to the Abulabans’ unit several times in the months leading up to the shooting.
SDPD Det. Sgt. Christopher Leahy testified that nine prior calls for service were made to the couple’s apartment since July of 2021, but Abulaban was not arrested in connection with any of those incidents.
One of Ana’s friends told police that she had planned on getting a restraining order against the defendant, though no restraining order was ultimately filed, according to testimony.
Though it was agreed that Abulaban would move out of their apartment, prosecutors allege he secretly made a copy of the apartment key.
He allegedly later told investigators that while his wife was away on the morning of Oct. 21, he used the copied key to enter the apartment, vandalized the unit, then installed an app on his daughter’s iPad that allowed him to monitor live audio inside the apartment.
While listening to the app later that day, he overheard his wife and a man “giggling,” Leahy testified, then drove to the complex from a Mission Bay hotel where he was staying.
According to Leahy, Abulaban told police that upon entering the apartment, he saw Barron and his wife sitting on the couch, and Barron had his arm around Ana. Abulaban said he then shot both victims shortly after entering the unit, Leahy testified.
City News Service contributed to this article.