A Maryland man accused of murdering his pregnant girlfriend allegedly changed his story several times while talking to investigators in the weeks after her body was found buried in a shallow grave, according to newly-filed court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
Tyler Tessier, 33, of Damascus, was arrested in September and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Laura Wallen, a 31-year-old teacher who was four months pregnant when she was killed.
Wallen’s family reported her missing on Sept. 4, 2017. At a Sept. 11 press conference, Tessier appeared alongside Wallen’s family, and tearfully pleaded for her safe return.
A recent motion filed by the state’s attorney’s office opposes a request from the defense seeking the suppression of Tessier’s allegedly inconsistent statements to detectives. The motion discusses Tessier’s statements.
“Following the press conference, the defendant met with detectives regarding the circumstances of Ms. Wallen’s disappearance,” the motion alleges. “During this conversation, the defendant admitted to helping Ms. Wallen ‘disappear'” — but at her request.
According to the motion, Tessier allegedly told investigators he moved Wallen’s car twice, and disposed of her license plates and cell phone.
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“He explained that she was tearful because she was having another man’s child and that she would somehow lose her job over that relationship,” the motion reads. “The defendant consistently stated that Ms. Wallen had been involved sexually with a former student from the Baltimore area.”
However, Wallen’s family believes Tessier fathered the unborn child, according to the motion.
All the while, Tessier maintained his innocence, the motion alleges, noting Tessier even admitted sending text messages from Wallen’s phone to her sister on Labor Day, pretending to be the murdered teacher and allegedly expressing doubt Tessier was her unborn baby’s dad.
Allegedly Said He Shot Her ‘to Ensure She Wasn’t Suffering’
Wallen’s remains were unearthed on Sept. 13 in a field in Damascus and Tessier was immediately taken into police custody. During subsequent interviews with detectives, Tessier allegedly “stated that he and Ms. Wallen had been kidnapped by several African-American men in Olney at Ms. Wallen’s home” and that “they were forced to drive to the field in Damascus in the defendant’s vehicle, where the men proceeded to shoot Ms. Wallen.” Tessier allegedly said he had managed to escape their purported attackers.
But Tessier later recanted that story, the prosecution motion alleges, and admitted to police he and Wallen had gotten into an argument that escalated quickly. He claimed Wallen attempted to attack him with scissors, “but he was able to get out of the way, and she ran into a wooden post on the porch and collapsed.”
The motion continues: “The defendant stated he did not call for help and that he believed she had died from striking her head on the porch post.” He then buried her in the field.
—±”When he grew concerned perhaps she was not deceased and that he had buried her alive, he stated he shot her once in the back of the head, to ensure she wasn’t suffering,” the motion alleges.
Tessier’s attorney could not be reached for comment.
He has pleaded not guilty to murder and his trial is expected to begin Sept. 4.
Tessier is the last person known to have been with Wallen before her death, police say. During questioning, Tessier allegedly told detectives that he was engaged to another woman, according to police. That’s the closest investigators have come to identifying a possible motive for the slaying.
Charging documents obtained by PEOPLE allege Tessier told police he had a fiancée whom Wallen had attempted to contact. Investigators believe Tessier killed Wallen on Sept. 3, one day after she was seen with him on surveillance video at a grocery store.