Tyler Tessier, the Maryland man accused of driving his pregnant girlfriend, Laura Wallen, to a field in the town of Damascus, shooting her in the head, burying her in a shallow grave, and then making a plea to the public to find her, was indicted yesterday on one count of murder. Maryland State’s Attorney, John McCarthy, made the official announcement that there will be no charges in the death of the unborn child of Laura Wallen.
The search for pregnant Maryland teacher Laura Wallen was a difficult one for Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger, who at one point needed to use subterfuge in order to trap the accused killer of Laura Wallen, Tyler Tessier. Chief Manger had Tessier, along with Laura Wallen’s parents, speak at a press conference in order to trap Tessier in his own lies about what happened to Laura Wallen. The plan worked, and days later, Tessier’s double life was revealed, and clues led authorities to the body of Laura Wallen on the Damascus farmland.
Chief Manger explained that Laura Wallen was killed because she had figured out that Tyler Tessier had another girlfriend to whom he was engaged.
“This is one of those tragic cases where you have an absolutely innocent victim. Just a senseless killing.”
Tyler Tessier continues to be held behind bars without bail after his indictment on one count of murder for killing his pregnant girlfriend, Laura Wallen. But the state’s attorney announced that there will be no charges filed in connection with the death of Wallen’s fetus, as it was at 14 weeks gestation at the time of her death. Maryland law requires the fetus to be viable in order to consider pursuing charges.
“The defendant is not chargeable. We are bound to follow the law.”
Tyler Tessier is being counseled by public defender Allen Wolf, who reports that his client is pleading not guilty.
“Although he has made mistakes in his personal life, he cared deeply about Laura Wallen and never would have physically hurt her.”
After Montgomery County, Maryland, police found the body of Laura Wallen, she was taken to the state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy. There, in addition to determining what caused the death of Laura Wallen, it was up to the medical examiner to date the pregnancy, which was determined to be 14 weeks.
Dr. Hal Lawrence, who is chief executive of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, explained that Wallen’s fetus could not have survived outside of her body.
“At 14 weeks’ gestation, there is no possibility that the fetus will survive outside the womb. In fact, before 23 weeks, it is extremely rare for a fetus to survive, and those that do survive have significant impairments.”
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Laura Wallen’s parents say they will meet with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to discuss changing the law which will allow Tyler Tessier to avoid charges in what they say is their grandson’s death. They released a statement to the media yesterday after Tessier was indicted for the murder of their daughter, Laura Wallen.
“Our daughter Laura Wallen shared with us that she went to her OBs visit & heard our grandson Reid’s heartbeat several weeks before she was murdered, and was overjoyed to have heard & seen Reid’s Heart beating as she watched him moving on ultrasound!
“Our family will be meeting with the Governor Hogan’s office of legislation in the next few weeks to discuss that fact that when Laura was shot in the back of the head, her murder stopped two beating hearts — Laura’s & Reids. Although we understand the Maryland law, our goal for the future, is to have the legislature examine Fetal Homicide, and revisit neonatal viability (when a fetus can survive, outside the mothers womb) as the parameter for prosecuting a fetal homicide when we know that a fetus’s heartbeat is present way before the 23rd to 24th week cut off for when a fetus is considered viable. In many states, two heartbeats is a double murder.”
Do you agree with the Maryland prosecutor that Tyler Tessier should only be charged with one murder, or with Laura Wallen’s parents that he should be charged with two murders?
[Featured Image by Remembering Laura Wallen/Facebook]