Elderly camper Carol Clay was shot through the head and killed when her secret lover Russell Hill attempted to grab former Jetstar pilot Greg Lynn’s gun, a court has head.
Gregory Lynn, 55, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday charged with the murders of Mr Hill, 74, and Ms Clay, 73.
Forensic expert Mark Gellatly revealed Lynn claims Ms Clay was killed instantly when his shotgun accidentally discharged a round into her head.
Lynn took notes from behind protective glass within the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday
Russell Hill (pictured, right) and Carol Clay (left) are alleged by police to have been murdered during a camping trip in March 2020
Police have been unable to account for the trailer (pictured) being towed in the CCTV footage the night the couple vanished near a remote camping spot
It is the first time any details of how police alleged the murders took place has been publicly revealed.
The badly burnt remains of the elderly couple were located by Victoria Police Missing Persons Squad detectives on November 30, 2021 – just days after the arrest of Lynn.
It remains unclear how police allege Mr Hill was murdered by Lynn.
Lynn’s barrister Dermott Dann, QC put it to Mr Gellatly that Mr Hill had grabbed his client’s shotgun.
‘The two were wrestling over the gun causing an accidental discharge … which struck Ms Clay in the head while positioned on the near side of Hill’s vehicle,’ Mr Dann said.
‘Yes,’ Mr Gellatly responded. ‘It’s a possible explanation at this point.’
The court heard traces of Ms Clay’s blood, via DNA analysis, had been found on Mr Hill’s Toyota Landcruiser.
On Monday, the court heard the elderly lovers had visited a graveyard in the remote wilderness and buzzed other campers with a drone.
Weed sprayer Robert Williams told the court he believed he had seen Mr Hill in the wilderness in the days before he was allegedly murdered.
He described Mr Hill as a ‘grumpy old bugger’ who later buzzed him with a drone.
‘I was getting droned out,’ he later told police.
Mr Williams said he saw the drone hovering over other people’s campsites, which he believed were being filmed.
Mr Hill had taken a drone with him on the trip, but it has never been found.
Mr Williams waved as it filmed him and it circled above him several times.
Russell Hill (pictured with his missing drone) is believed to have filmed campers in and about the area where he was allegedly murdered
The drone Mr Hill is believed to have flown over the area he was allegedly killed. It has never been found
Gregory Lynn, 55, (pictured) was charged with the murder of secret lovers Russell Hill, 74, and Carol Clay, 73
He watched it as it hovered over and around several campsites for 35 or 40 minutes, before he lost sight of it near Wonnangatta Cemetery.
He didn’t see who was operating it, but thought it was rude.
‘You’re going down there to have a peaceful camp and somebody’s flying a drone over top of you,’ he told the court on Monday.
The following morning he smelled burning plastic in the air.
The campers were allegedly shot by Lynn before their bodies were burnt and dumped in bush graves.
Campers Damir Javor and Goran Miljkovic had seen the couple as they parked their vehicle at a camp site believed to be shared by Lynn.
Mr Miljkovic told the court he had seen the couple as they drove slowly down a forest track within the Wonnangatta Valley in the Victorian Alps.
‘They appeared to be a grandma and grandpa out for a drive,’ he said through the aid of a Serbian interpreter.
The daughters of slain camper Russell Hill, Colleen and Debbie, eye balled his alleged killer in court on Monday
Greg Lynn’s barrister Dermot Dann, QC attends court in Melbourne on Monday. Mr Dann is regarded as one of Australia’s top legal minds
For 20 months police have been investigating what happened to the two missing campers
Don’t stop me now: Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper leaves the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday
The pair had been stuck behind the elderly couple as they drove slowly along the track to their campsite, which already had two vehicles parked there.
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.
Mr Miljkovic said he saw the elderly couple park their car up close to the two vehicles already at the site.
He described the move as ‘strange’ given there was plenty of room for them to park elsewhere.
Mr Miljkovic told the court he saw the elderly couple again the following day as they returned from a graveyard situated in the remote bushland.
The pair had been headed back to their ute, which was parked by the river.
Lynn faces life in prison should he be convicted of the double murder.
Lynn had been arrested at a remote campsite in Arbuckle Junction, 1.5 hours south of Wonnangatta in the state’s east in 2021.
Mr Hill’s white Toyota Landcruiser (pictured) was found with minor fire damage at their burnt campsite near Dry River Creek Track in the valley on March 21, 2020
Keen camper and dad Gregory Lynn, 55, (pictured) claims Ms Clay was killed in a tragic acciden
The pair went missing in the Wonnangatta Valley, more than 200km north east of Melbourne
Police, desperate for knowledge on where the bodies of the campers might have been disposed, grilled Lynn for a whopping four days before finally charging him with their murders.
The burnt out remains of Mr Hill’s Toyota Landcruiser was found at their campsite near Dry River Creek Track on March 21 in 2020.
Lynn appeared in court from behind bulletproof glass.
Dressed in a black suit, Lynn took notes throughout the preliminary hearing, which will determine if he is to face a Supreme Court of Victoria jury trial.
Lynn’s flight attendant wife and the families of both Mr Hill and Ms Clay watched the hearing via videolink.
The court heard prosecutors were keen to have the contents of Lynn’s initial record of interview and his original statement to police suppressed over fears they may be inadmissible when the matter goes to trial.
The court heard his car had been identified by CCTV cameras on the Great Alpine Rd at Mount Hotham.
An IT expert told the court two cameras had identified 12 vehicles of interest through number plate identification technology.
The hearing is expected to run until early next week.
Police put out a public appeal for this 4WD (pictured in a police sketch) with roof racks, side steps, off-road tyres and a bulbar. The box trailer is ‘fairly standard’ but has been fitted with ‘off-road wheels’, detectives say
The beige off-roader belonging to Lynn was taken by police at a remote campsite in East Gippsland where heavily armed officers swooped on the suspect, north of Sale
Greg Lynn is seen with his wife Melanie – who is a flight attendant with Jetstar – with the pair meeting through work
TIMELINE OF CAROL CLAY AND RUSSELL HILL’S DISAPPEARENCE
* March 19, 2020: Russell Hill, 74, leaves his Drouin home and picks up Carol Clay, 73, from her Pakenham home
* March 20, 2020: Mr Hill makes a call via high frequency radio saying he was at Wonnangatta Valley in the Victorian Alps. It is the last time anyone hears from either of the pair
* March 21, 2020: Campers find Mr Hill’s fire-damaged Toyota Landcruiser at their campsite near Dry River Creek Track
* March 26, 2020: When Mr Hill planned to leave the region
* March 28 to 29, 2020: When Ms Clay told friends she expected to return
* March 30, 2020: Police make public appeal for information amid search
* April 6, 2020: Initial search called off
* March 5, 2021: Police appeal for information about ‘mystery vehicle’, described as a ‘white dual cab ute’ seen in the area
* March 9, 2021: Drone handed into police ruled out as Mr Hill’s
* April 4, 2021: Cadaver dogs join search at Wonnangatta Valley
* April 14, 2021: Two shovels found near the Great Alpine Rd at Mount Hotham, about 100km drive from where the campers went missing
* November 8, 2021: Image released of blue four-wheel drive seen in the area
* November 22, 2021: Police arrest 55-year-old man from Caroline Springs
* November 25, 2021: The 55-year-old man is charged with two counts of murder