Larry Millete during a May 12 court hearing. Photo credit: Screen shot, CBS8 San Diego via YouTube
A man accused of murdering his wife, a Chula Vista woman who remains missing more than 18 months after disappearing from her home, must appear for a deposition in a case that will decide the guardianship of his three children, a judge ruled Wednesday.
The order from San Diego Superior Court Judge Julia Kelety approves a request from the sister of May “Maya” Millete to compel Larry Millete to appear for an interview in the case to decide who will be granted guardianship of his children, ages 12, 11 and 5.
Millete, 40, has been jailed since October on suspicion of murdering his wife, who disappeared on Jan. 7, 2021.
Prosecutors, who allege Millete killed her because she sought a divorce, say no one has reported seeing her alive after that day, nor has her body been located. Millete has denied any involvement in his wife’s disappearance and in a separate court case, wrote in a declaration that he believes his wife left voluntarily.
Millete’s parents and May Millete’s sister have since gone to court to decide who should become the children’s guardians in the absence of their parents.
Any such deposition will have to wait until Millete is deemed mentally competent.
Earlier this year, his defense attorney declared a doubt regarding Millete’s competency to stand trial in the murder case and criminal proceedings have been suspended. A defendant is deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial if they are unable to understand the nature of the criminal proceedings or assist their attorney in their defense.
Millete was set to be evaluated by a doctor to determine whether he is fit to stand trial, but that evaluation has not yet occurred, according to Scott Finkbeiner, an attorney representing May Millete’s sister, Maracris Drouaillet.
Finkbeiner told the judge on Wednesday, “Clearly, I’m not going to take a deposition of someone who’s an incompetent witness.”
A hearing regarding his competency is set for Aug. 29 at the downtown San Diego courthouse.