It took a jury minutes to convict a Maine man of murder on Monday for killing his wife and burying her body behind his parents house – in a shallow grave along with a note signed with his nick-name, a wedding band, flowers, a bag of potato chips, a box of SweeTarts and bottle of Gucci women’s perfume called Guilty.
Luc Tieman, 34, a former Army paratrooper who saw combat in Iraq, according to his lawyer, was convicted of murder for shooting his wife, Valerie, twice in the head with .45 caliber pistol in August, 2016. He now faces 25 years in prison, according to CentralMaine.com, a news website.
Police and prosecutors believe Tieman killed his wife on August 25, 2016, a day before he moved in with another woman he met at a pool party and referred to as his “rebound girl,” according to prosecutors.
Valerie Tieman’s mother, Sarajean Harmon, last spoke to her daughter on August 10, 2016, on the telephone from her home in South Carolina, according to the Bangor Daily News. Two weeks later, on August 25, she called again but Valerie didn’t answer. Instead, Luc Tieman responded with a text message saying things were “good. Love her so much.”
Then, on September 8, Luc Tieman called Harmon and said that Valerie had left him. The next day, Valerie’s parents reported her missing to police in Maine. That’s when Tieman told police for the first time that Valerie disappeared on August 30, while he was shopping inside a Walmart. When he came out, he said, she was gone.
Maine State Police and Game Wardens found Valerie Tieman’s body on September 20. It was buried in a shallow grave behind Luc Tieman’s parents’ house, according to the Bangor Daily News. She had been shot twice in the head with a .45 caliber pistol.
When questioned by police, he repeated the Walmart story but added that his wife was addicted to heroin and pain pills and wanted to leave him.
Then, in a later interview, Tieman said his wife OD’d, and that he buried her.
But police found a.45 caliber automatic pistol in Tieman’s home and, at his trial, prosecutors called the owner of a local gun shop who testified he sold the pistol to Tieman in 2015.
Still, autopsy results confirmed the presence of synthetic opioids in Valerie Tieman’s body, and testimony from friends of the couple at the trial confirmed that the two regularly shot-up heroin and took other drugs.
“They injected — Luc would inject Valerie,” one woman, Jacqueline Spencer, testified.
Another woman, Billi-Jo Hawes, testified that she and Luc Tieman “had sex” after a pool party on August 24, 2016. Two days later, he moved in with her. They were planning a life together, she said, until September 13, 2016 – the day state police detectives first interviewed Tieman about Valerie’s disappearance.
Tieman testified in his defense and also gave his own closing arguments to jury – he was convicted 50 minutes later.
[Photo: Somerset County Sheriff]