SAN DIEGO — The preliminary hearing for Larry Millete, the Chula Vista husband accused of murdering his wife Maya, entered its sixth day on Thursday.
Jaypie Tabalanza, Maya's older brother, returned to the witness stand.
He testified it was two days after his sister disappeared that he first suspected Larry had something to do with it.
He told the judge Larry's story changed about his whereabouts January 8th, 2021. First, he says Larry told him he went to work and dropped off his son Lazarus early. When he spoke to him a second time, he said Larry told him he had gone driving around, feeding Lazarus french fries.
Jaypie testified Larry did not say where he had been.
"I get a weird feeling already when he changed that story," he said.
During cross-examination, Larry's defense attorney continued asking Jaypie about a conversation he said the two had in 2020, where Larry said he wanted to hire a hitman to "get the guy" he suspected Maya was having an affair with.
"He said, 'If anyone would take $20,000 and then I'll give you $4000 for all your troubles' that's what he was telling me. I told him 'I don't want to get involved,"" said Jaypie Tabalanza.
He also testified he didn't tell Maya about the conversation and he did not report it to the police.
WATCH: DAY 6 MORNING | Preliminary trial for Larry Millete continues in San Diego court:
A close friend of missing Chula Vista woman May "Maya" Millete testified Thursday about the last year of her friend's deteriorating marriage, including an incident in which she locked herself in a room after discovering her husband was trying to track her whereabouts.
Kristeen Timmers testified Thursday in the preliminary hearing for May's husband, Larry Millete, who is charged with her murder. May Millete has not been seen or heard from since Jan. 7, 2021. Though her body has not been found, prosecutors allege Larry Millete killed her because she sought to divorce him.
Timmers testified that in August 2020, May told her she had found a cellphone hidden in her car, which she said had been planted there by her husband.
May responded by locking herself in a room of her house and calling Timmers, who testified that she could hear Larry in the background of the call asking May to open the door. Timmers said May sounded like she was "crying and desperate" during the call.
At some point that day, May posted a photograph of the door she'd locked herself behind on social media, Timmers said. May claimed the social media post was accidental, but Timmers testified that she and May's other girlfriends "didn't know if that was a cry for help."
Timmers testified that Larry eventually "broke the door because she wouldn't open it."
Earlier that year, May told Timmers that she was still trying to work through problems with Larry because, "I still love him. He's the father of my three children," Timmers testified.
But by the end of 2020, May had become more resolute about a divorce, though she said she needed to find money for an attorney because "Larry had taken control of all the finances." During a get-together in December, May told Timmers and her other friends, "I'm afraid Larry will hurt the kids to hurt me," Timmers testified.
May scheduled a meeting with a divorce attorney on Jan. 12, 2021, which was meant to happen after a planned trip to Big Bear in celebration of her daughter's birthday. May never attended the Big Bear trip -- slated to begin Jan. 8 -- or the meeting with the attorney.
In the final month before her disappearance, May also told Timmers that she found a cellphone beneath her bed that was "playing subliminal messages."
WATCH FULL VIDEO: DAY 6 | AFTERNOON: Preliminary trial for Larry Millete continues in San Diego court
BACKGROUND ON THE CASE:
Since January 2021, the disappearance of Chula Vista mother Maya Millete has been under investigation by authorities and the subject of local and national news. The Chula Vista Police Department and multiple federal agencies, including the FBI, have looked into her disappearance for more than 2 years.
The last time Maya was heard from was on Jan. 7, 2021. Her husband Larry Milete was arrested on October 19, 2021 and charged with murder.
This preliminary 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.
WATCH RELATED: Maya Milete's sister-in-law and brother take the stand.
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