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Preliminary hearing for Larry Millete expected to take weeks

A Judge will review evidence in the case of missing Chula Vista mom, Maya Millete, in court starting on Wednesday.

SAN DIEGO — Two years ago, a Chula Vista mother of three, Maya Millete, went missing. She still has not been found.

Next week, a preliminary hearing is set for her husband, Larry Millete, charged with Maya’s murder.

Wednesday’s hearing is not a trial. There are no jurors. Evidence will be presented, and witnesses will testify over two to three weeks in the Downtown San Diego courthouse.

In the end, Judge Dwayne Moring – a former public defender and a former San Diego prosecutor – will decide if there is enough evidence for Millete to go to trial for murder.

Millete, 41, has been in jail since his arrest on October 19, 2021.  Maya went missing nine months earlier, on January 7, 2021, the same day she contacted a divorce attorney.

“In homicide cases, there is often a triggering event. In this case, on January 7, 2021, May took that step. And, the last call recorded that May made was to a divorce attorney,” said District Attorney Summer Stephen during a news 2021 conference following Millette’s arrest.

Prosecutors allege Millete was angry at Maya for having an affair, and their marriage on the rocks, leading to violent arguments.

On the night she went missing, a surveillance camera recorded loud bangs from the family's home, sounding like gunshots.

Because of the poor quality of the recording, the FBI could not confirm that the loud bangs were, in fact, gunshots.

Other key evidence is expected to come out in court next week.

Millete once choked Maya into unconsciousness, according to one of her friends. The husband also allegedly searched the internet for "Hemlock" and "Rohypnol" to hinder his wife.

Millete repeatedly paid online spellcasters via email, asking them to make his wife have an accident and get hurt, according to an arrest warrant filed in the case.

The day after Maya went missing, Larry drove away from Chula Vista in the family’s Lexus SUV with his four-year-old son. He was gone for 12 hours, initially telling police he went to Solana Beach and later saying he went to Torrey Pines beach, court records allege.

The SUV could not be tracked. Larry's cell phone was turned off all day, according to police.

Search teams have looked for Maya's remains all over San Diego and Imperial counties for the past two years. Larry Millete never participated in any of those searches.

Millete’s defense attorney, Bonita Martinez, has argued that Maya could still be alive.  Without a body, she said, her client should not be convicted of murder.

On Saturday, January 7, 2022, Maya’s family planned to hold a hike at San Miguel Mountain in Chula Vista, marking two years since Maya went missing. It begins at 9 a.m. at Mount San Miguel Community Park in Chula Vista.  All are welcome to attend.

WATCH: Full news conference on the day Larry Millete was arrested, October 19, 2021:



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