Jay-R Tabalanza
Jay-R Tabalanza, Maya Millete’s younger brother took the stand Friday. Screenshot via CBS 8 livestream

A Chula Vista woman who disappeared two years ago after she was allegedly murdered by her husband described in text messages that her husband had routinely been engaging in controlling, abusive behavior, it was revealed in court Friday.

In the summer of 2020, May “Maya” Millete told her younger brother, Jay-R Tabalanza, in a series of text messages that Larry Millete was regularly monitoring her emails, messages, social media, and financial activity. She said Larry was “toxic and mentally abusive” and had started becoming “concerned” about her interactions with other men.

“I’ve stopped being friends with any guys,” she texted her brother, who testified that Larry suspected his wife was having an affair and had expressed a desire to “get the other guy.”

May Millete has not been seen or heard from since Jan. 7, 2021. Prosecutors allege Larry Millete, 41, killed her because she sought a divorce. In a local news broadcast and a court declaration in a separate court case, Millete stated that he believed his wife left their home voluntarily.

Tabalanza testified Friday as part of a multiweek court proceeding in which a judge will decide if there is enough evidence for Larry Millete to stand trial for murder.

Tabalanza testified that starting in 2020, Larry began calling him on an almost daily basis for help regarding his deteriorating marriage.

In the calls, Larry stated that he feared May was going to leave him and wanted Tabalanza “to see what I could do with Maya … basically try to convince her to not leave him.”

In the middle of 2020, May briefly moved out of the Chula Vista home and in with Tabalanza and his wife. Tabalanza testified that May said she wanted to separate from her husband and “co-parent” their three children. He testified that Larry continued calling him during this time and frequently asked him where May was and what she was doing.

In text messages revealed in court, May told her brother that Larry was “manipulating” family members and had been trying to control her.

“I’m so tired of his mental and emotional abuse,” she texted Tabalanza. Later she wrote, “He’s got you all in his pockets and I’m alone and isolated …exactly where he wants me to be.”

She also wrote that Larry used their children “to make sure he keeps me in my place!”

The day after May went missing, Tabalanza said he traveled to his sister’s home to see if she was there.

One of May’s daughters answered the door. When asked where her mother was, she told him, “She’s been locked in her room for 11 hours now and she hasn’t fed us,” Tabalanza testified.

Tabalanza said he went to the master bedroom that May was supposedly in and knocked on the door and called her name multiple times. He received no response and no indication that anyone was inside, he testified.

Larry was at the home and told Tabalanza that he and May had an argument the previous night. He also said he had just arrived home from work, but later said he had been out with his young son much of the day.

While speaking with Larry downstairs, Tabalanza said he noticed May’s then-9-year-old daughter kick the master bedroom door multiple times. The door remained closed and there was no response.

About one week earlier, May revealed to several family members, including one of her sisters, Maricris Drouaillet, that she was planning to divorce Larry soon.

“Be ready. It’s going to be a messy divorce,” Drouaillet testified Thursday, quoting her sister. “If something happens to me, it’s going to be Larry.”

Drouaillet testified that, after May disappeared on Jan. 7, 2021, Larry did not appear concerned about his wife’s absence. She testified that, as far as she knew, Larry never assisted the family or conducted his own efforts to search for May or spread the word regarding her disappearance.

Prosecutors have alleged that Millete’s efforts to keep his wife in the marriage included employing the services of spell casters, through whom he hoped magic could be used to convince his wife to stay. Later, he allegedly asked the spell casters to render her incapacitated so she could not leave the home.

His messages to spell casters abruptly halted after Jan. 8, save for one message on Jan. 9 that requested that hexes on his wife be removed, according to an arrest warrant declaration.

Updated at 5:37 p.m. Jan. 13, 2023

City News Service contributed to this article.