Secret LOVERS – Murder Trial Gets MURKY

A dramatic murder trial in Victoria, Australia has just been given to the jury, and the jury has received instructions that it has only a stark choice: It must convict the defendant of murder, or it must acquit him on all charges.

The defendant is 57 year-old Gary Lynn, who used to be a pilot for Jetstar airlines. In the trial before the Supreme Court of Victoria, Lynn has pleased “not guilty” to the murders of 73 year-old Carol Clay and 74 year-old Russel Hill. The elderly couple was killed in the state’s mountainous region’s Wonnangatta Calley in March of 2020.

On the 13th of June, Judge Michael Croucher told jurors that, during the five week-long trial, the prosecution failed to present evidence that might allow them to convict for a lesser charge of manslaughter, and thus they had only the binary choice of conviction or acquittal. The Judge was careful to iterate that both prosecutors and defense counsel agreed with his appraisal of the situation and were on board with taking manslaughter off the table. Either way, the verdict must be unanimous.

During the trial, the prosecution presented no specific evidence over why or how Lynn may have murdered Mr. Hill, particularly, leaving it two items shy of the classic three-point burden of demonstrating “means, motive, and opportunity” beyond a reasonable doubt.

In the summing-up, the Judge told the jury that the “most” that the prosecution could offer is speculation that Lynn must have argued with Hill, and that the argument might then have led to a murder for reasons and by means unknown. At that point, Lynn would have murdered Ms. Clay with a head-shot from his shotgun in order to eliminate her as a witness to the murder of Hill.

The Crown prosecution’s case centered around Lynn’s alleged attempt to clean evidence from the crime scene, and was based on the premise that only the murderer would have a motive to disturb the bodies and the surrounding scene.