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Message from the judge to the jury of the missing campers

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

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

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

Dressed in a blue suit and with glasses around his neck, the father-of-two pleaded not guilty to both counts of murder.

GREGORY LYNNGREGORY LYNN

Gregory Lynn has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Russell Hill and Carol Clay. Photo: NCA NewsWire / David Crosling

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

He said the two men and Mr Lynn were camping at the same time at a remote site in the Alpine Valley.

Mr Lynn was charged with the alleged murders of Mr Hill and Ms Clay in November 2021, 20 months after their disappearance.

Judge 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 ask to be excused.

“Jury trials are an important contribution to our justice system,” said Justice Croucher.

“This system can only work if people are willing to raise their hands and perform their solemn duty impartially. »

He further warned any “delicate” people to consider asking to be excused as they may have to see graphic evidence.

“You will be dealing with a case that, by definition, involves death,” he said.

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

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

Before the jury vote, potential jurors were told the trial was expected to last four to six weeks.

Within an hour, a group of 74 Victorians was narrowed down by ballot to the 12-member jury and two alternates, who will determine Mr Lynn’s guilt or innocence of the charge.

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

The jury is made up of six women and eight men, representing a wide range of professions, ages and ethnic origins.

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

Each is expected to give their opening speech to the jury Friday, describing the case and what they think the jury should make of it, before evidence begins next week.

Mr Lynn wrote in a yellow notepad as jury members were warned not to discuss the case outside the jury room.

The trial continues.