Jay-R Tabalanza
Jay-R Tabalanza, Maya Millete’s younger brother took the stand Friday. Screenshot via CBS 8 livestream

The younger brother of a missing Chula Vista woman testified Friday that during the year leading up to his sister’s disappearance, his brother-in-law repeatedly urged him to convince his sister to remain in the marriage.

Jay-R Tabalanza testified that in 2020, Larry Millete began calling him on an almost daily basis for help regarding his deteriorating marriage with May “Maya” Millete.

Larry Millete, 41, is charged with murdering his wife, who has not been seen since Jan. 7, 2021. Prosecutors allege Millete killed her because she sought a divorce. In a local news broadcast and a court declaration in a separate court case, Millete stated that he believed his wife left their home voluntarily.

Friday’s testimony was part of a multi-week court proceeding in which a judge will decide if there is enough evidence for Millete to stand trial for murder.

Tabalanza testified that, starting in early 2020, he began receiving routine phone calls from Larry, in which Millete stated that he feared May was going to leave him.

Tabalanza testified that Larry would call “to see what I could do with Maya … basically try to convince her to not leave him.”

Tabalanza said that, on some days, Larry would call him four or five times and would be concerned when Tabalanza did not pick up. One of May’s sisters, Maricris Drouaillet, previously testified that, in 2020, Larry would also call her and other family members for marital advice.

In the middle of 2020, May briefly moved in with Tabalanza and his wife. Tabalanza testified that May said she wanted to separate from her husband and “co-parent” their three children.

He testified that Larry continued calling him during this time and frequently asked him where May was and what she was doing.

During a New Year’s family trip in Glamis, May revealed to several family members, including Drouaillet, that she was planning to divorce Larry soon.

“Be ready. It’s going to be a messy divorce,” Drouaillet testified Thursday, quoting her sister. “If something happens to me, it’s going to be Larry.”

Drouaillet testified that, after May disappeared on Jan. 7, 2021, Larry did not appear concerned about his wife’s absence. She testified that, as far as she knew, Larry never assisted the family or conducted his own efforts to search for May or spread the word regarding her disappearance.

Prosecutors have alleged that Millete’s efforts to keep his wife in the marriage included employing the services of spell casters, through whom he hoped magic could be used to convince his wife to stay. Later, he allegedly asked the spell casters to render her incapacitated so she could not leave the home.

His messages to spell casters abruptly halted after Jan. 8, save for one message on Jan. 9 that requested that hexes on his wife be removed, according to an arrest warrant declaration.

City News Service contributed to this article.


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Ellen Bullock