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Maryland--Tyler Tessier--Man Accused of Killing Pregnant Teacher Found Dead in Cell
A Maryland man charged with the killing of his girlfriend, a pregnant high school teacher, was found dead in his jail cell. Tyler Tessier was 32 when he was arrested in September 2017, following the discovery of his girlfriend Laura Wallen, who was four months pregnant, in a shallow grave. Officials said at the time that Tessier was suspected to be the father of the unborn child but was engaged to be married to a different woman. Found Dead Tessier was found dead in his cell around 5:10 a.m. on Sept. 6, reported NBC. Officials believe he committed suicide. The death comes on the same day his trial was scheduled to start. Tessier was facing a first-degree murder charge. [morearticles mode="false"]2297266[/morearticles] Kevin Lewis, an ABC7 reporter, said that Tessier was in court on Sept. 4, for jury selection. "He was wearing a suit/tie and barely uttered a word," Lewis said. "This news comes as a shock to all. So much work put into the case." A source told Lewis that Tessier had asked his public defender recently if he even needed to show up to the trial, which was scheduled to last three weeks. 'An Adventure' Tessier was the last known person to see Wallen and surveillance footage showed the pair together on Sept. 2, 2017, near Wallen's home. A text message from Wallen to her sister said that Tessier had taken her on a trip to a farm. "Tyler has me on an adventure in the country ... don't know why I'm here but it's for something," she wrote, according to court records. She was found dead 11 days later in a shallow grave on a large farm in Damascus. Authorities said she'd been shot in the back of the head. Admission Tessier told police officers that he shot Wallen once because he was afraid he had buried her alive, Montgomery County prosecutors said in a motion obtained by WTOP. Tessier said that Wallen had tried to attack him with a pair of scissors and he was able to get out of the way but she collided into a wooden post and collapsed. He believed she had died, so she buried her. “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,” according to prosecutors.