SAN DIEGO — The preliminary hearing for Larry Millete, the Chula Vista husband accused of murdering his wife Maya, entered its seventh day on Friday morning in Downtown San Diego Court.
The first witness on the stand was Det. Jesse Vicente of the Chula Vista Police Department. He testified he took over the case after the responding officer told him it seemed suspicious.
He testified, as part of his investigation, he canvassed the Millete neighborhood and looked for surveillance footage. He told the judge a camera from a neighbor's home captured video from the Millete home January 8, 2021, the day after Maya disappeared.
WATCH FULL: DAY 7 | MORNING Larry Millete preliminary hearing
The video was played in the courtroom. At around 6:00 a.m., Det. Vicente testified someone repositioned a black Lexus SUV. In the video, you can see someone pull the vehicle forward, then back it in closer to the garage area of the Millete home.
Det. Vicente testified at 6:43 a.m., the vehicle pulled out of the driveway and took off. It didn't return home until around 6:00 p.m. that night.
According to court documents, prosecutors say Larry's alibi for that 11 hours cannot be corroborated. He told police he went to Solana Beach with his 4-year-old son for the entire day, but then pointed on a map to Torrey Pines State Beach.
Larry Millete Hearing: Exhibits presented Day 7
On cross-examination, Millete's defense attorney, Bonita Martinez, asked Vicente directly if he believed Larry murdered May, to which he responded, "Yes."
Vicente also testified that he did not believe May "disappeared mysteriously."
When asked to elaborate, he said, "I have no proof of life for May, if she were to leave the house. I spoke to numerous witnesses who had told me that this is not something that she would do. I have no evidence indicating that May was preparing to get away and flee from her family. I do know that Larry and her had an argument that evening of Jan. 7, is what he told me, and he was the last one to see her. So, based on that and the facts that we've gathered throughout this investigation, I believe he's responsible for her disappearance."
Preliminary hearing testimony indicates the marriage was crumbling in 2020, prompting Larry to reach out to several of May's family members and urge them to convince May to remain in the marriage.
Throughout 2020, May told family members, friends, and colleagues that Larry had been engaging in controlling behavior, including regularly monitoring her communications, attempting to track her whereabouts, and wresting control of her finances, according to testimony.
Prosecutors have also alleged in court documents that in late 2020, Larry Millete reached out to "various individuals who appear to sell `spells,"' which he believed could compel May to want to remain in the marriage. Larry later allegedly sought spells that could render her incapacitated or "hurt enough that she will have to depend on me and need my help."
Several books on magic spells were found during a police search of the Millete home, including one titled "Magical Love Spells," according to a photograph shown in court.
On Friday, Chula Vista police Detective Lorenzo Ruiz testified about internet searches discovered on Larry and May's personal computers.
One search made from Larry's computer was for "subliminal wife training," Ruiz testified. Prior preliminary hearing testimony indicated May discovered a cell phone hidden beneath her bed that was "playing subliminal messages," which Larry explained to his sister-in-law involved recorded hidden messages such as "I love you" or "Love me" that could be played amidst white noise.
Larry was arrested in October 2021 on suspicion of killing May and has remained jailed without bail since then. At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, a judge will rule whether there is enough evidence for Larry Millete to stand trial for murder.
WATCH FULL: DAY 7 | AFTERNOON Larry Millete preliminary hearing
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.
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