ROCKVILLE, Md. - It was an emotionally charged day inside a Montgomery County courtroom as pre-trial hearings were held for a man charged with the murder of his pregnant girlfriend.
Tyler Tessier is accused of killing 31-year-old Laura Wallen, a Howard County teacher who was pregnant with his child. Her body was discovered in a shallow grave in a field in Damascus.
There were two court hearings held Friday to discuss the start of Tessier’s trial. Prosecutors played a recording of Tessier speaking to his father in a jailhouse phone call in October. Prosecutors believe the defense was purposely trying to stall the trial.
Tessier told his dad in the call, "Going slow is to everyone's advantage.” He even brought up the Las Vegas mass shooting saying, "When something more important happens, it puts me out of the public eye."
Emotions ran high in court after the judge decided to push back the trial that was originally set for April to September.
But just as the final hearing was wrapping up, Wallen's mother was seen shouting at Tessier’s father about their unborn grandchild.
“I think if you put yourself in the place of families, you can really get in touch with their emotional reaction,” said Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office spokesperson Ramon Korionoff. “Just think about how you would feel if the court date that you were prepared to go to and go through was postponed.”
The public defender denied stalling and told the judge this is a huge case and they needed more time. The judge had hoped to start in June, but because of scheduling issues, he decided on Sept. 4.
Ironically, that is the same day Wallen was first reported missing by her sister. Over a week later, her body was found and Tessier was charged with her murder.
Wallen was nearly four months pregnant when she was killed. Authorities said they believe the motive behind the Olney woman's murder was connected to a love triangle between Wallen, Tessier and another woman Tessier was engaged to be married with.
Wallen’s autopsy revealed that she was shot in the back of the head.
FOX 5's coverage on the disappearance and murder of Laura Wallen: