The Chula Vista man accused of killing his long-missing wife, May "Maya" Millete, returned to court Thursday for a bail review.
After hearing from both Deputy District Attorney Christy Bowles and defense attorney Bonita Martinez, Superior Court Judge Maryann D’Addezio denied Larry Millete's request for bail, based upon the prosecutor's arguments that he represented a danger to the community. He continues to be held without bail.
Bowles told the court that Millete was a risk to the community, saying that he "unraveled" when Maya took steps to dissolve the marriage.
"And it was a desperate man who became very dangerous, and his … the desperation led to his desire to hurt anyone he felt might be a threat to his family unit," Bowles told the court. "His family unit was everything to him. He did not have a lot of outside interests, a lot of outside friends."
Bowles said that threat to his family "resulted in his desire to harm anyone who might get in the way of keeping that family whole," leading to the alleged death of Maya.
In communicating with spell casters, people who, for pay, purport to be able to influence people's behavior, Larry's requests took on a "sinister" cast, Bowles said.
In email communications between Larry and the spell casters, Bowles told the court, he at one point wished for a "death spell" and harm to come to the person he allegedly believe to be having an affair with Maya. Larry also allegedly asked a family member of Maya's "if there was someone that he could identify to essentially pay to 'get the other guy,' " Bowles said.
Millete's attorney, Martinez, denied he was a flight risk or danger to others, citing his military record, statements of support from community members and lack of any record of a violent.
"The defendant is not a flight risk," Martinez said. "And he is not a danger to society. There has been no record of any violence whatsoever in his entire life."
Martinez also reminded the court that she had submitted documents to the court illustrating what she called "the lifestyle of the alleged victim."
"Essentially what we're arguing, your honor, is this: You cannot exclude other hypothesis of her disappearance," Martinez said.
At that point in the hearing, D’Addezio reminded Martinez that the court was required, when considering bail, to assume the charges against the defendant were true.
"Today is not the day to try the case," D’Addezio said.
In issuing her ruling, the judge said the court found "there's clear and convincing evidence that he's threatened to commit grave bodily injury against another and there's a substantial likelihood he will carry out that threat," then denied Millete's request for bail and granted the prosecutor's request for no bail, ordering that he remain in the custody of the sheriff.
After court, Martinez told NBC 7 that Maya left the house in the past to go biking in the desert and hiking in the mountains without her husband. Martinez said that "she can still be alive."
Maya's sister Maricris Drouaillet and her husband, Richard, attended Thursday's hearing, as did some of those who helped search for Maya, who went missing in January. Maricris was visibly saddened by the proceedings, weeping during the hearing, still crying when she left court. In other developments Thursday, NBC 7 learned that the Morena Valley woman had petitioned the court for custody of the Milletes' three children, who are 5, 10 and 11 years old and are currently in the care of Larry's parents.
Previous Court Appearances By Larry Millete
Millete, who is facing a murder charge in connection to the disappearance of his wife May “Maya” Millete, was ordered held without bail during his arraignment last month and prosecutors want to keep it that way. Additionally, the defendant was issued a criminal protective order preventing him from contacting the couple’s three young children, who are 5, 10 and 11 years old.
More on the murder case defendant
A judge ruled in October that Larry violated the order while in jail; since that time, he has since only been allowed to contact his attorney. Deputy District Attorney Christy Bowles told the court that prior to his now-restricted communication, Larry made 129 phone calls to his parent’s home, where his children are currently living.
With the children living with the defendant’s parents, at least nine hours of calls were recorded between the kids and Larry, according to Bowles. In the calls, the defendant asked his eldest child to read news headlines to him and he encouraged two of his children to watch an R-rated movie named “Shock Caller” to “understand the environment he is in.”
The defendant was arrested on Oct. 19 at his Chula Vista home for the murder of his wife, who has been missing since early January. He faces a second charge of illegal possession of an assault rifle.
At his initial court appearance, Larry pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Prosecutors say they want to keep Larry behind bars since they consider him a flight risk. They added that he poses a danger to his children and the community.
Millete is scheduled to return to court Dec. 16 for a readiness hearing.