It looks like the Maryland man accused of fatally shooting his pregnant girlfriend in the back of the head will likely not face additional charges for killing her unborn child. Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said such charges were “highly unlikely,” The Baltimore Sun reports.
Last week, Tyler Tessier, 33, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of social studies teacher Laura Wallen, 31. She was four-months pregnant when she was killed. Her body was found in a shallow grave a week after she went missing.
A prosecution spokesman told PEOPLE that McCarthy will make a decision within a few weeks if Tessier will be charged with killing the unborn baby, believed to be his own.
“A decision by the district attorney is still weeks out,” Ramon Korionoff, the public affairs director for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office said. He added that it’s on the state to prove that Tessier intended to kill the baby. The state must also show, according to Korionoff, that if the fetus was born that it could have survived without Wallen. Fetuses are usually considered viable at 24 weeks old.
Days before he was charged with murder, Tessier was holding hands with Wallen’s mother at a press conference, while pleading for the safe return of his girlfriend.
“There is nothing we can’t fix together, myself and your family,” he said, with emotion.
Tessier made several visits to the area where Wallen's body was found, CBS affiliate WUSA-TV reports. Police added that Tessier gave inconsistent stories about his interactions with Wallen before she’d gone missing.
Police believe Wallen was killed September 3, one day after a surveillance video captured images of her and Tessier at a grocery store together. A day later, on September 4, Wallen’s sister received texts from Wallen saying that her unborn baby might not belong to Tessier, according to the Washington Post. Police think those texts were actually sent by Tessier.
“I am like 95 percent sure Tyler is not the father,” one of the texts said. Another read, “Tyler is never going to forgive me. If he tries to call you, please tell him he’s a great guy because I know I really hurt his feelings.”
On September 2, Wallen texted her sister, stating, “Tyler has me on an adventure in the country. . . don’t know why I’m here but it’s for something.”
When her sister asked where she was, Wallen told her she was “waiting in a field.” The social studies teacher then texted her sister a photo of a large field. Police say it’s the same field in Damascus, Maryland where her body was discovered in a shallow grave.
According to the Associated Press, police are saying Tessier was engaged to another woman at the time of the award-winning teacher’s death. In fact, Tessier has allegedly already admitted that. The Montgomery County State’s Attorney said Thursday that both women thought that their relationship with Tessier was exclusive.
Prosecutors said Tessier was pretty much homeless, and that he lived at both women’s homes and the friend’s property where Wallen’s body was later found.
[Photo: Montgomery County Police Department, Facebook]