ROCKVILLE, Md. - A court hearing revealed new information in the case of a Montgomery County man charged with murdering a teacher who was carrying his unborn child.
Prosecutors revealed Tyler Tessier had access to four guns on the night before the murder of Laura Wallen. Tessier is accused of killing the 31-year-old woman after her body was located in a shallow grave in Damascus last year.
Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy told the court that Wallen was shot once in the back of the head with a .22 caliber firearm. Also, on the night before the murder, Tessier called a friend who owned the property where Wallen's body was found and asked for access to a safe where four .22 caliber rifles were kept.
The property was also the subject of an unusual request from the state's attorney. McCarthy wants the jury in the upcoming murder trial next month to be taken to the property to see in person where Wallen was buried.
"In court, we showed a Google Earth picture of the location where Laura Wallen was found,” said McCarthy. “When you look at that Google Earth picture, it looks as if you are looking at open farm land that is flat and doesn't have any undulations or ups or downs, you have no perception of the hills, and quite candidly as I said, this is a vast piece of property. You are 1.2 miles off of the roadway to where Laura is found.”
Despite pre-planning by the sheriff's office on how to get everyone there, including Tessier, Judge Michael Mason said he did not think it was necessary and it was very unlikely he would allow it, but also did not rule it out.
The judge said that if he saw during the trial that a visit might benefit the jury, he may rule otherwise.
Prosecutors said the jury should see for themselves how remote and private the land is where Wallen’s body was discovered.
The defense did not fight prosecutors’ plans to show DNA evidence proving Tessier is the father of Wallen's unborn baby – the heart of the theory as to why prosecutors believe Tessier shot and killed Wallen. At the time of the murder, Tessier was also seeing another woman.
Two days before her body was discovered, Tessier attended a news conference with Wallen's parents where he spoke as if she was still alive, saying they could fix things together.
The murder weapon has not been found, but McCarthy said Tessier had access to guns and he wanted the jury to see where he may have got one.
"One of the site locations was up closer to a home that was located approximately a mile and a half or a mile from where Laura's body was found and in that location, it was a friend of the defendant’s home, and in that home, we found four .22 caliber rifles.”
However, the judge denied the prosecution’s request to take the jury to that location.
McCarthy said police were unable to match the bullet recovered with Wallen's body to any of the guns because the projectile was badly deformed.
The murder trial will begin on Sept. 4.
FOX 5's coverage on the disappearance and murder of Laura Wallen: