Trial set for Tyler Tessier in murder of pregnant girlfriend

ROCKVILLE, Md. — A Montgomery County judge has set a 10-day trial in April 2018 for Tyler Tessier, who could face life with no chance of parole if convicted for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend, Laura Wallen.

Tessier’s trial will begin April 9, 2018, according to Circuit Court Judge Cheryl McCalley.

Tessier was not present during a brief scheduling hearing. He has been held without bond since being arrested and indicted for the murder of Wallen, who was 14 weeks pregnant when she was murdered, according to an autopsy.

Wallen taught at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia. Police believe she was killed on Sept. 3.

Allen Wolf, District Public Defender, who is one of the attorneys representing Tessier, declined to comment after the Friday hearing.

Previously, Wolf has told WTOP: “Tyler Tessier is innocent of the charges against him. His family and friends know that he is a quiet, peaceful person. Although he has made mistakes in his personal life, he cared deeply about Laura Wallen and never would have physically hurt her.”

Last week, State’s Attorney John McCarthy said his office was contemplating seeking life with no possibility of parole for Tessier. After Friday’s scheduling hearing, his spokesman would not comment on whether prosecutors would seek Maryland’s stiffest penalty.

Maryland does not currently have the death penalty.

McCarthy also said because of the age of Wallen’s fetus, Tessier could not be charged with a second count of murder.

An autopsy showed Wallen died after being shot in the back of the head.

Tessier’s next court date is currently scheduled for Feb. 23, 2018.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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