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Jetstar pilot Greg Lynn has pledged to stand trial for the murder of campers with secret lovers

Ex-Jetstar pilot Greg Lynn is determined to stand trial in Victoria’s Supreme Court for the murders of secret campers Russell Hill, 74, and Carol Clay, 73.

Magistrate Brett Sonnet ruled in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday that a jury would have sufficient evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the 56-year-old murdered the couple in March 2020 in the Victorian High Country.

Lynn’s commitment to stand trial followed a preliminary hearing that began on January 16.

Greg Lynn, 56, will stand trial in Victoria’s Supreme Court for two counts of murder

Carol Clay (left) was allegedly shot dead by Lynn before Russell Hill (right) was stabbed to death

Carol Clay (left) was allegedly shot dead by Lynn before Russell Hill (right) was stabbed to death

Carol Clay (left) was allegedly shot dead by Lynn before Russell Hill (right) was stabbed to death

Police allege that Carol Clay was shot while in the back of this vehicle, which was damaged by fire following the alleged crime

Police allege that Carol Clay was shot while in the back of this vehicle, which was damaged by fire following the alleged crime

Police allege that Carol Clay was shot while in the back of this vehicle, which was damaged by fire following the alleged crime

Lynn remained calm during the brief hearing, which was held in a nearly empty courtroom apart from media representatives.

Dressed in a suit and holding a bundle of yellow folders, he rose to address his lawyer, despite the clerk’s objections.

At the end of the hearing, he formally pleaded not guilty to two murders, setting up an epic murder trial.

Lynn will now appear before the Supreme Court of Victoria on February 9 in his first step towards finally appearing before a jury that will decide his fate.

He has been in prison since November 2021 and again has not applied to be released on bail.

The jury trial is not expected to formally begin until later this year after mountains of evidence are considered before a Supreme Court judge.

Much of the conversation is expected to revolve around Lynn’s four-day police record of interrogation, which Lynn hopes to erase from the public record.

The content of that interview is now subject to a court-ordered gag order, which will likely remain in effect until Lynn’s trial.

At an earlier hearing, it was said that homicide detectives in Victoria had collected a whopping 773 pages of evidence against Lynn.

Many of those pages contain the content of Lynn’s nine-plus hour interview, which was recorded at Sale police station immediately after his arrest in November 2021.

Lynn’s attorney Dermot Dann, KC, has long argued that his client’s interview should be declared inadmissible in a murder trial.

Greg Lynn, photographed in court last week, was questioned by police for four days

Greg Lynn, photographed in court last week, was questioned by police for four days

Greg Lynn, photographed in court last week, was questioned by police for four days

Police filmed thousands of Greg Lynn (right) in the 11 months before his arrest in Victoria's Highlands.  Nearly 300 relevant recordings were made after the broadcast of a 60 Minutes special about the missing campers

Police filmed thousands of Greg Lynn (right) in the 11 months before his arrest in Victoria's Highlands.  Nearly 300 relevant recordings were made after the broadcast of a 60 Minutes special about the missing campers

Police filmed thousands of Greg Lynn (right) in the 11 months before his arrest in Victoria’s Highlands. Nearly 300 relevant recordings were made after the broadcast of a 60 Minutes special about the missing campers

Lynn's attorney Dermot Dann, KC (pictured last week) plans to challenge the admissibility of his client's interview record with police

Lynn's attorney Dermot Dann, KC (pictured last week) plans to challenge the admissibility of his client's interview record with police

Lynn’s attorney Dermot Dann, KC (pictured last week) plans to challenge the admissibility of his client’s interview record with police

WHY THE POLICE BELIEVE CAMPER WAS KILLED

Russell Hill knew the rugged Wonnangatta Valley as well as anyone brave enough to venture that far into the wilderness.

It’s courage that the police suspect took the lives of him and his secret lover Carol Clay.

Those who knew him claimed that he would never back down from a fight.

Weed sprayer Robert Williams told the court that Mr Hill was a “grumpy old bastard” who called him with a drone.

Campers Damir Javor and Goran Miljkovic had spotted the pair as they parked their vehicle at a campground believed to be shared by Lynn.

The pair were trapped behind the elderly couple as they slowly drove down the path to their campground, where two vehicles were already parked.

One of those cars was a white Landcruiser, the other was described as a blue Nissan Patrol – the same type of vehicle seized by police when they arrested Lynn on November 22 last year.

While the contents of what exactly was discussed with Lynn cannot be revealed, Mr Dann described it as ‘explosive’.

“It’s just that these pieces of evidence are potentially groundbreaking in terms of how the trial will be conducted by the prosecution,” he told the court last week.

“They would potentially have such an impact on how that process is to be conducted … there are very real, very living and very substantial issues regarding those two pieces of evidence.”

The second item Mr. Dann was referring to is a statement Lynn made following a classified recording made by detectives following his capture in the wilderness.

The court heard that Lynn was held in the jail cells of Sale Police Station for the duration of the interview without legal representation or a mental health assessment.

“He was fed, he was watered, he was in bed,” Senior Officer Daniel Passingham of the Missing Persons Department told Mr Dann during cross-examination this week.

Without using the record of the interview, detectives would be forced to rely on other evidence, including phone tower records, witness statements, forensic opinions and classified recordings made by police during the 11 months Lynn was under surveillance.

The court heard that the police letter contained folders containing transcripts of recordings of Lynn captured by detectives as part of “Operation Lexicon.”

Police allege that Lynn had been routinely talking to himself while driving around in his Nissan Patrol.

In the hours before Special Operations Group officers descended on his vehicle in a helicopter, Lynn reportedly described the pair’s murders as another “chapter in life.”

Respected Detective Acting Sergeant Brett Florence (left) and Detective Chief Daniel Passingham (right) led the charge to solve the mystery of the missing campers

Respected Detective Acting Sergeant Brett Florence (left) and Detective Chief Daniel Passingham (right) led the charge to solve the mystery of the missing campers

Respected Detective Acting Sergeant Brett Florence (left) and Detective Chief Daniel Passingham (right) led the charge to solve the mystery of the missing campers

On Monday, the detective responsible for listening to 3,150 classified recordings captured in Lynn’s vehicle revealed what he said as police approached him.

Senior Constable Passingham told the court he overheard Lynn reflecting on the alleged murders as he drove to the Wonnangatta Valley shortly before his arrest.

“In what I had heard from the accused, he had expressed it as a chapter in life,” Senior Constable Passingham said.

The detective also alleged that while driving alone in his vehicle, Lynn said his “book was written.”

“These are on the footage taken while he’s driving the Nissan Patrol,” he said.

On Wednesday, the detective in charge of the case against Lynn, Acting Sergeant Brett Florence, confirmed that detectives were concerned about Lynn’s mental health the morning of his arrest.

“I wouldn’t say he was at a mental breaking point,” he added.

Sergeant Florence had been the last witness to testify at the preliminary hearing.

He told the court that Lynn had been deemed a person of interest within months of the campers’ disappearance.

‘He was not a suspect. He was a person of interest,” he told Mr. Dann under cross-examination.

The court has previously heard that detectives spoke to Lynn as early as July 14, 2020, when they worked to verify the stories of a dozen others who were in the area at the time the campers went missing.

Police were eager to talk to anyone caught on CCTV driving into the wilderness during the period the campers went missing.  It is claimed to be Greg Lynn's car at the time

Police were eager to talk to anyone caught on CCTV driving into the wilderness during the period the campers went missing.  It is claimed to be Greg Lynn's car at the time

Police were eager to talk to anyone caught on CCTV driving into the wilderness during the period the campers went missing. It is claimed to be Greg Lynn’s car at the time

Police believe this is what Greg Lynn's vehicle looked like when the campers went missing

Police believe this is what Greg Lynn's vehicle looked like when the campers went missing

Police believe this is what Greg Lynn’s vehicle looked like when the campers went missing

It was a conversation secretly recorded by a detective at the time.

The court heard that another man was considered a particular interested party in the case after being nominated by Parks Victoria staff.

Sergeant Florence said police had spoken to the man, who lived in the area where the campers were missing, but were subsequently ruled out.

The court heard that the police intend to conduct a final search of the wilderness area where the alleged murders took place.

Lynn was arrested at the junction of Doolans Plains Road and Moroka Road, Arbuckle – some seven hours after being heard talking to himself in a ‘depressed state’.

Leading Senior Constable Passingham stated that the decision to arrest Lynn was made after review of the shooting by his superiors.

“Lynn made comments about his time coming to an end, that Melanie (his wife) had three boys to look after her, a good rum, whiskey or cocktail would be good,” said Chief Constable Passingham.

The detective said that after listening to Lynn over 3,000 recordings, he knew something wasn’t right.

“I had a feeling he was going to kill himself,” he told the court.

Lynn was armed with a high-powered centerfire rifle during the unexpected journey.

The shattered remains of Mr. Hill and Mrs. Clay would be found just days later some 25 miles (40 km) east as the crow flies through rugged bushland at Dargo.

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