Last Thursday, TikTok star 29-year-old Ali Nassar Abulaban was arrested and charged with killing his wife, Ana Abulaban, and her friend, a man named Rayburn Barron.
Abulaban pleaded not guilty on Monday after detectives released details on the deadly shooting.
Louie Marinari, Abulaban’s first cousin, told 10News that the pair were very close. Marinari said he moved to San Diego in December, and then Abulaban and Ana followed.
Marinari says that the Abulaban’s were starting a new life and in love with each other. He said he never expected this to happen. “It was mostly about anger and jealousy, and I think okay. But you don’t resort to killing somebody,” he shared.
Marinari told 10News that he was one of the last people to see Abulaban before Thursday’s shooting. Abulaban, Marinari, a friend, and her boyfriend all went to dinner Monday night.
“He asked my best friend Danielle do you think my wife will ever get back together with me?" recalled Marinari. "She said yea. I do think she will get back together with you if you get life together. Then I said, what are you going to do? You are living in a motel? He said, oh, me and Ana, we are still together. She is just trying to make me suffer a little bit.”
Marinari shared that the couple had been separated for roughly two months. Detectives say that she was filing for divorce.
Marinari said that Abulaban loved Ana. He also shared that he observed his cousin having mood swings, and at times, displaying abusive behavior.
“Once they moved here, her social life flourished, and he was a part of that social life, but then he messed it up, and Ana was going out on her own," he furthered. "And that’s when he really lost his mind, he lost control of her, and he wanted to control.”
According to Deputy District Attorney Taren Brast, Abulaban made a copy of a key to the apartment in East Village. Abulaban snuck in, vandalizing the home Thursday morning. According to detectives, he also installed a listening app on his 5-year-old daughter's iPad.
Later that afternoon, after hearing Ana with Rayburn Barron, Abulaban returned, allegedly shooting the pair.
“I just have images, mostly of Ana in my head because I didn’t know Ray and how helpless she probably was when this all went down," he explained. "Like she could have been raising her arms or trying to defend herself.”
Marinari says that the only family he has in San Diego is his cousin and Ana. Four days after the shooting, he found out that Ana had died.
Marinari said that it was a shock for his family, and all he wants now is closure.
“Me personally, and what I feel, the anger that I feel and the hate that I feel. I think he absolutely does deserve the death penalty," explained Marinari. "He didn’t just take one life. He took two. That’s like the worst thing ever.”
Marinari expressed that Abulaban told him he believed Ana was the perfect wife. He thought when Abulaban found out that Ana wanted a divorce, it came as a surprise.
“It shocked him so much he was like, how could she do this? That’s my wife. I love her to death. And he would always show me pictures of her and say, look, this is my wife, I am not giving her up to no man, and I don’t want no man being around my child.”
Abulaban had a court hearing on Monday. He pleaded not guilty and is currently being held without bail.
Sophia Hernandez at KGTV first reported this story.