BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Emotions erupted Friday after a judge pushed back the trial date of a man charged last year with fatally shooting his pregnant girlfriend in the back of the head.
The trial of Tyler Tessier has been moved to September, the one-year anniversary of the murder.
The mother of Laura Wallen, a beloved teacher at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, yelled at Tessier’s father outside the Rockville courthouse following the judge’s decision.
“If you put yourself in the place of families, you can really get in touch with their emotional reaction,” said Ramon Korinoff, state’s attorney’s spokeperson.
Prosecutors argued Tessier was deliberately trying to delay the trial as a strategy and played a jailhouse phone call where he referenced the Las Vegas massacre.
Tessier allegedly told his dad delaying “just looks better for me. People forget. Things happen. I mean, like shootings in Las Vegas and stuff. When something more important happens, it puts me out of the public eye.”
“Justice delayed is justice denied. We are ready to go forward on the trial date that was established,” Korinoff said.
The case drew national attention because of a press conference in 2017 where Tessier pleaded for Wallen’s safe return and even held hand with her parents.
What he didn’t know at the time was that police had evidence he’d shot Wallen and buried her in a shallow grave after she found out about his engagement to another woman.
“If somebody has her, please understand that you’ve taken away a huge person to so many people’s lives.
Wallen was reported missing Sept. 4, and her body was found Sept. 13. Tessier was charged with her murder shortly thereafter. She was about 14 weeks pregnant when, according to police, Tessier shot her and buried her on a friend’s property in Montgomery County.
Tessier is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Wallen’s parents have been pushing Maryland lawmakers to charge the murder of an unborn child at any stage in development. Because of the age of the fetus, Tessier was never charged with the killing of his unborn son.