Man accused of killing pregnant high school teacher will likely not face charges for unborn infant’s death

The Maryland man accused of shooting his pregnant girlfriend in the back of the head and dumping her body in a shallow grave will probably not face charges for the baby’s death, according to a Montgomery county state attorney.

Baltimore Sun reports that Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy should be making a decision in a few weeks as to whether Tyler Tessier, 32, will be charged for the murder of his unborn child. The baby’s mother, Laura Wallen, 31, was four months pregnant when Tessier allegedly killed her.

“A decision by the district attorney is still weeks out,” public affairs director for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, Ramon Korionoff, said.

It’s on the state to prove the Tessier intended to kill the unborn child, according to Korionoff. He also said that the state must prove the baby would’ve survived alone at 24 weeks gestation.

“If there was an argument that the child was viable at the time of the homicide, then the law would support the potential of an additional homicide charge,” McCarthy said. “The facts we do have suggest we’re not going to get there.”

According to Dr. Fernando Mena, chief of neonatology at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, a fetus is typically considered viable at 24 weeks, meaning the baby may survive outside of the womb. However, at 24 weeks gestation, babies have a 50/50 chance of survival.

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On Thursday, a Howard County, Maryland, judge denied bail to Tessier, a man accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend, a high school teacher loved in her community and adored by her students.

Tessier was arrested on Wednesday and charged with Wallen’s murder, a high school teacher at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Maryland. Authorities found Wallen’s body on Wednesday in a shallow grave in a remote area in Damascus, Maryland, off of Prices Distillery Road. According to cellphone records, Tyler frequented the area on several occasions shortly before he allegedly killed Wallen, his girlfriend who was four months pregnant with his child.

“He is a monster and he is a liar,” said Wallen’s father, Mark Wallen said after Tessier’s bond hearing. “It defies description, the awfulness and the horror we have been put through.”

Mark Wallen also described how difficult it was to sit by Tessier and pretend to support him during a press conference earlier this week. Authorities said they made a calculated decision to allow Tessier to speak at the conference in an attempt to study his words and his body language. They already considered Tessier a suspect at that point, after they caught him in a number of lies and inconsistencies about his whereabouts when Wallen disappeared.

“It was absolutely the hardest thing my wife could do would be to sit next to him and hold his hand, and she had to hold his hand with two hands because she was shaking so badly,” Mark Wallen said. “We were pretty sure it was Tyler, but we didn’t know where she was, and you can’t put somebody away on a missing person. Someone doesn’t go to prison for life on a missing person.”

According to Montgomery County police chief, Tom Manger, the suspect shot Wallen in the back of the head. So far, authorities have not located the weapon.

The motive of the murder, at least on surface, seems to be what authorities are calling a “love triangle.” Tessier was engaged to another woman while professing his love to Wallen and asking her father’s permission to marry her. Wallen found out about the other woman and sent her a text message, asking to meet in person to discuss the situation. A week later, Wallen was dead.

As of Thursday, there was no record of an attorney on file for Tessier.

Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

Additional Reading

Murdered pregnant teacher’s boyfriend was engaged; victim wanted to meet up with the ‘other woman

Missing pregnant high school teacher found dead; boyfriend arrested

‘We’re not giving up on her!’ Family frantic to find missing pregnant teacher

URGENT: Pregnant teacher’s car found days after she disappeared; family desperate for answers

[Feature Photo: Police Handout]