SAN DIEGO — The third day of the preliminary hearing took place Friday to find out if there is enough evidence to send Larry Millete to trial in his wife’s disappearance. The third day of the hearing entailed more of Maya’s family members and a special agent on the stand detailing an illegal firearm Larry owned.
Maricris Drouaillet, Maya’s sister, was on the stand for several hours Thursday and began on the witness stand Friday. She testified that Larry told her on Jan. 9, to wait until 2/2:30 a.m. on Jan. 10, before calling authorities to alert them Maya was missing. She said she did not see him trying to call Maya. He allegedly told Maricris that Maya was either out on a hike or went to Temecula with her friends.
Drouaillet testified that Larry had told her he and Maya had a big argument on Thursday, Jan. 7, which is the last day Maya was seen alive. Maya’s younger brother Jay-R Tabalanza also testified Larry had told him the same thing.
Jay-R was one of the first people to go to Maya’s home in search of her. Jay-R said on Jan. 8, one day after Maya was last seen, he could not get ahold of his sister, so he went to their home in Chula Vista and found Larry upstairs and his nieces and nephews at the home.
Jay-R said he asked one of Maya and Larry’s daughter where their mom was.
“She’s been locked in her room for 11 hours now, and she hasn’t fed us,” he testified, recalling what one of their daughters said at the time.
Jay-R said he went upstairs to the main bedroom and knocked on the door and called for Maya, but there was no response and the door was locked.
Jay-R said that while he was at the home, Larry was talking about cryptocurrencies and domestic abuse. According to Jay-R, Larry slapped the wall about two to three inches next to Jay-R’s head and said that is considered domestic abuse. Jay-R said that it was an unusual conversation. Jay-R said Larry had told him he was at work that day, but also told him that he had his youngest son Lazarus with him and that he had been eating French fries all day.
Jay-R said while he was at the home, he saw Maya and Larry’s daughter, Melani, who was in martial arts, running across the hallway to the primary bedroom and try and kick the door open.
Jay-R said Larry told him on Jan. 8 that he and Maya had a fight the night before and he threatened to call the wife of the man that she allegedly had an affair with. According to Jay-R, Larry threatened to open up an investigation at Maya’s job against her because of the alleged affair.
Drouaillet said she and her entire family have not been on good speaking terms with Larry since late January/February 2021.
“She (Maya) said, ‘If something happens to me it’s going to be Larry,” Drouaillet testified again Friday that Maya had told her that around New Year’s Day.
Drouaillet said at the time she did not think anything of the statement from Maya, but became worried on Jan. 9, when they could not find her sister.
Since Maya’s disappearance, there has been questions surrounding an affair she allegedly had with a man at work. The defense’s cross examination began questioning Drouaillet about her knowledge of the alleged affair. When Tabalanza testified Friday, he knew more about the alleged affair than Drouaillet.
Maya’s brother, Jay-R Tabalanza, was the fifth person to take the stand in the hearing. He is married to Genesis, who has been to referred to in this hearing. Jay-R is about two years younger than Maya and is the youngest sibling in the family.
Jay-R and his wife Genesis lived with Maya and Larry Millete for a few months in 2015, when they moved to San Diego form Los Angeles for his wife’s job at a navy base, where Maya also worked.
Jay-R said during a family trip to Lake Havasu in the summer of 2020, Larry told Jay-R that Maya had been having an affair and claimed that Maya had admitted to Larry some details of the affair. Jay-R said Larry said during that conversation that he “wanted to get that guy” and “go after him.”
He testified about the relationship between him and Maya. He said Maya was a pretty private person and did not share information with him about her and Larry’s marriage. But, he said Larry started communicating with him about their marriage in early 2020. Jay-R said Larry called him and said that Maya might be leaving and him and he wanted Jay-R to help him and try to convince her to not leave him.
Jay-R said that it was not usual for Larry to call him, but after that initial call in 2020, Jay-R said Larry would call him repeatedly, sometimes more than five times in a day, making a similar request. Jay-R said when he would get off work around 5 p.m. on a work day, he might have five missed calls from Larry.
Jay-R said Maya moved out of her home she shared with Larry in Chula Vista, around May 2020, and into the home with Jay-R and his wife Genesis. He said initially she did not bring her three children with her, but later did. She said she stayed for about six weeks total before moving back into the home in Chula Vista with Larry.
“She wanted to separate,” Jay-R said.
Jay-R said during the time Maya was living with him, Larry would call him and ask where Maya was, if she was home yet, and would check on her. However, Jay-R said he didn’t find the phone calls at the time unusual. He said in September 2020, several family members, not including Larry, took a trip to Lakewood and during the three times they stopped on their road trip to Lakewood, Maya would get a phone call from Larry and would explain to Larry why they were stopping.
“It’s unusual,” Jay-R said. “It’s almost like she was being tracked in a way.”
Jay-R said Larry had logged into Maya’s Facebook account and responded in group messages, from Maya’s account.
In August 2020, Jay-R said he received a phone call from Larry, panicking, because Maya had threatened to call the police on Larry. Larry allegedly asked Jay-R to come over and “help calm” Maya down.
Jay-R gave a copy of the text messages to law enforcement, which were shown during the hearing Friday. The texts were between May and Jay-R on August 12, 2020.
The text messages were sent one after another:
Maya: “Why the hell is everyone calling me? Is Larry convincing you guys again? Have you not realized how good he is at manipulating everyone every situation? I’m so tired of this mental and emotional abuse. I keep to myself but he TELLS everyone like he’s suffering and uses the Bible and God to make sure he controls everything.”
Jay-R responded “Well, he’s seems to be the only one talking And he making it seem like you’re a pretty good liar.”
Maya responded: “Exactly! I’m tired of it and he’s good at it He’s got you all in his pockets and I’m alone and isolated… exactly where he wants me to be.
Jay-R responded: Well he’s begging me to go to your house to “calm you down”.
Maya responded: And you guys KNOW I HATE involving others with my problems I’m not even at home! I left and parking at a park just to get away he wants to SHAME ME back into submission Bec he can’t manipulate me anymore he wants all of you, including mama and papa to put me back into place! Don’t you get it?
Jay-R: “Well I’m only concern about your kids.”
Maya: “Me too! He uses them too! He uses them to make sure he keeps me in my place! It’s toxic and mentally abusive I am not leaving the house anymore, I’m fighting for my right now!!: “He seems like he’s genuinely trying to change.
“He NEVER lets me be by myself. He checks all my emails, messages, messengers, FB posts,” Maya said in a text message to her brother Jay-R on August 12, 2020. “He even checks my VENMO app,” another message sent read. “And then what? He’ll just tighten the reins more.”
Jay-R said at one point in 2020, Maya had found a cell phone hidden behind her car in the backseat.
Special Agent Francisco Paredes with the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms was the third witness called to the stand in the hearing. He said in 2021, he was called to inspect Larry Millete’s firearms seized by the Chula Vista Police Department during a search warrant. According to Paredes, the gun seized was illegal because it was not registered.
He said their tests showed the gun was working at the time it was seized. One of the guns seized was a semi-automatic rifle, has a pistol grip that protrudes below the action, a collapsible stock and a magazine release on the firearm. According to Paredes, these characteristics make one of the guns seized an assault weapon.
Paredes testified that the gun seized and inspected was an assault weapon and was not registered in the state of California, which is illegal. Paredes said gun laws in California are ever-changing and are more restrictive than federal firearm laws. He said the last time to register a gun such as the one seized was between January and September 2018. He said as of 2021, the gun was not registered.
Paredes said the gun manufacturer is JD, which went out of business around 2017, which means this gun was likely purchased prior to that date.