Greg Lynn: Next steps in former Jetstar captain’s double murder trial over Russell Hill and Carol Clay deaths

The jury in the trial of former Jetstar captain Greg Lynn has been asked to retire and deliberate on the verdict on two murder charges.

Gregory Stuart Lynn, 57, will stand trial after pleading not guilty to the murder of 74-year-old Russell Hill and 73-year-old Carol Clay during a camping trip in the remote Alpine National Park.

Shortly after 12 noon, the 14-member jury was reduced to the 12 Victorians who will decide the case.

In a random election, two men were voted out, reducing the gender ratio to six men and six women.

Judge Michael Croucher said they had as much time as they needed to deliberate.

On Thursday, Judge Croucher began his briefing, summarizing the case and advising the jury on the issues to be decided and relevant legal principles.

Concluding the day, Judge Croucher said he would summarize the closing arguments of the prosecution and defense when the case resumes on Friday morning before the jury is asked to retire.

Judge Croucher had previously informed the jury that both parties had agreed that the alternative charge of manslaughter would no longer be considered.

“Manslaughter is no longer available to you as an alternative charge,” he said.

“If you are not convinced of murder, there is no basis for an alternative verdict of manslaughter.”

Outlining the prosecution and defence arguments, Judge Croucher said the prosecution had alleged that Mr Lynn murdered Mr Hill on the evening of 20 March 2020 in unknown circumstances and by unknown means, probably following an argument over Mr Hill’s drone.

Mr Lynn then allegedly murdered Ms Clay by shooting her in the head, witnessing the first murder, he said.

Defending, Judge Croucher said Ms Clay died as a result of the accidental discharge of Mr Lynn’s shotgun as the two men struggled for control of the weapon.

Mr Hill then attacked Mr Lynn with a knife and fell on the blade while the two men were wrestling.

Judge Crouchers said both parties agreed that Mr Lynn had taken a number of steps to conceal his involvement in the deaths, including cleaning up and burning the campsite, disposing of the bodies only to return eight months later and burn them, and painting his car and trailer.

He said the prosecution was asking the jury to accept that these actions could only be reasonably explained by the fact that Mr Lynn knew he had murdered the two.

The defence, however, said Judge Croucher, argued that all available evidence supported Mr Lynn’s account of two accidental deaths and that his actions were the result of panic and fear that he would be wrongly blamed.

“Mr Dann (Mr Lynn’s lawyer) argues that the prosecution is asking you to fill in the gaps with speculation,” he said.

Judge Croucher told the jury that their task was not to punish Mr Lynn for the “horrific and selfish” acts he had admitted to, but to judge impartially whether the prosecution had proved beyond a reasonable doubt the four elements of murder in each death.

He said Mr Lynn was presumed innocent and that the jury’s finding that two accidental deaths were unlikely was “fundamentally flawed”.

The process continues.

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