Boyfriend won’t face additional charges for fetus’ death in Md. teacher’s killing

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Montgomery County prosecutors will not charge Tyler Tessier for the death of his girlfriend Laura Wallen’s fetus.

Tessier was indicted by a grand jury on Thursday on a single murder charge for Wallen’s death.

State’s Attorney John McCarthy said that under Maryland law, he would have had to prove that Wallen was carrying a “viable fetus,” that could have survived on its own.

“Her child was autopsied, and a medical team determined at the time of Miss Wallen’s murder, the child was 14 weeks old,” McCarthy said Friday. “Based on medical testimony, the child was not viable, independent of Miss Wallen.”

“Based on those findings and as a matter of law in Maryland, the defendant is not chargeable with a second count of murder, related to the child,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy said prosecutors are considering whether to seek life without the possibility of parole in Wallen’s death. Among the factors under consideration will be the fact that Wallen was pregnant at the time she was killed.

Tessier was engaged to another woman at the time of Wallen’s death, according to charging documents.

Wallen was shot in the back of the head and then buried in a shall grave in Damascus. Police believe she was killed on Sept. 3.

McCarthy declined to specify what Tessier’s motive might have been.

“At the time of trial we’ll be talking about the motive, I think it would inappropriate at this time,” McCarthy said.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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