Gregory Lynn: Jury empanelled in murder trial over deaths of Carol Clay and Russell Hill

An airline pilot accused of killing a couple during a remote camping trip will stand trial in Melbourne.

Police allege Russell Hill, 74, and Carol Clay, 73, were murdered after the pair vanished in the Wonnangatta Valley, about five hours east of Melbourne.

Jetstar captain Gregory Stuart Lynn, 57, appeared in the Victorian Supreme Court on Thursday as a jury was selected to hear his case.

Wearing a blue suit and with glasses hanging around his neck, the father of two stood to plead not guilty to both counts of murder.

Camera IconGregory Lynn has pleaded not guilty to Russell Hill and Carol Clay’s murder. NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

Providing a brief summary of the allegations to the jury pool, Justice Michael Croucher said the Crown alleged Mr Lynn shot Ms Clay in the head and then killed Mr Hill at Bucks Camp.

He was charged over the alleged murders of Mr Hill and Ms Clay in November 2021 – 20 months after they vanished.

Justice Croucher warned jurors there had been “a lot of publicity about this case” since 2020, urging anyone who felt they could not be impartial to request to be excused.

“Trial by jury represents an important contribution to our justice system,” Justice Croucher said.

“That system can’t operate unless people are prepared to put their hands up and perform the solemn duty in an impartial way.”

Carol Clay and Russell Hill were allegedly murdered while camping in the Wonnangatta Valley in March 2020. Supplied.
Camera IconCarol Clay and Russell Hill were allegedly murdered while camping in the Wonnangatta Valley in March 2020. Supplied. Credit: Supplied

Ahead of the jury ballot, prospective jurors were informed the trial was expected to run for the next four to six weeks.

Over the course of an hour, a pool of 74 Victorians were whittled down by ballot to the 12 jury members, and two substitutes, who will determine Mr Lynn’s guilt or innocence of the charge.

He challenged the inclusion of three women – a teacher, registered nurse, and medical scientist.

The jury is made up of six women and eight men, representing a diverse range of occupations, ages and ethnicities.

Mr Lynn’s defence is being led by prominent barrister Dermot Dann KC, while Daniel Porceddu will head the prosecution.

The trial continues.

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