A camper may have been accidentally shot in the head while her partner wrestled with another man for control of a shotgun, a Victorian court has heard.
Greg Lynn, a former airline pilot, is charged with murdering Russell Hill, 74, and Carol Clay, 73, who went missing in March 2020 while camping in the Wonnangatta Valley, east of Melbourne.
Lynn faced the Melbourne magistrates court on Tuesday for a committal hearing, which will determine whether there is enough evidence for him to stand trial.
The court heard that Victorian police asked one of its forensic officers who was examining items in relation to the case to work on the scenario that Clay had been killed when Hill attempted to grab Lynn’s shotgun and the two men wrestled for control of the weapon.
During his evidence on Tuesday, forensic officer Mark Gellatly agreed with a suggestion put to him by Lynn’s lawyer, Dermot Dann KC, that he had been unable to “rule in or rule out” the scenario after examining forensic material on the passenger side of Hill’s car.
“That’s right, it’s a possible explanation at this point,” Gellatly said.
Gellatly confirmed no trace of blood was detected on multiple items seized from Lynn’s home after he was arrested in November 2021.
There was also no blood detected on two shotguns he examined, Gellatly said.
Earlier on Tuesday, a Victorian detective confirmed she recorded a conversation with Lynn without his knowledge, more than a year before he was charged with the murder of the two campers.
Det Sen Const Abbey Justin said she and a colleague from the missing persons squad visited Lynn’s home in July 2020.
Justin said police had been able to eliminate as suspects the drivers of 11 cars detected on automatic number plate recognition cameras at Mount Hotham, near where the campers went missing, but were yet to clear Lynn at the time of the visit.
When she attended Lynn’s property, she said she noticed that a car parked outside, which she believed to be the same vehicle detected by the cameras, had been painted a different colour.
Justin said she recorded Lynn without his knowledge, and did not give him a caution, as at that stage he was only a witness she was seeking to speak to confirm he was driving at the time the photo was taken.
The hearing before magistrate Brett Sonnet continues, but will not hear further evidence until Monday.