SKOWEGAN – A Somerset County jury has found a Fairfield man guilty of murder in connection with the August 2016 shooting death of his wife.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the prosecution is accusing me of murdering my beautiful wife, Valerie Tieman. Which i didn’t do,” said Luc Tieman.
Against his lawyer’s advice, the 35-year-old Fairfield man delivered the closing argument in his own murder trial.
He stood before the jury pleading his case before they voted to find him guilty on murder in connection with the shooting death of his wife in August 2016.
“We’re thankful justice was served. The truth finally prevailed and came out. She would pick people that were downtrodden and be their friend. She was always the friend that was there for everyone,” said Valerie Tieman’s father, Allen Harmon, following the verdict Monday afternoon.
After a week of hearing from witnesses, it took the jury less than an hour to return a verdict.
Just before 1 p.m., the judge sent a note to the jury asking if they wanted to order lunch.
They sent a note back stating a verdict had been reached.
Outside the courthouse, Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea said, “I was surprised the defendant chose to give his own closing argument. There’s a reason why you have an attorney representing you.”
Valerie Tieman’s body was discovered in a shallow grave behind the home of Luc Tieman’s parents on September 20th, 2016.
She died of two gun shot wounds to the head.
When her body was removed from the burial site, police discovered a note, a bottle of Gucci Guilty cologne, a mason jar with a wedding ring in it, and a bag of potato chips.
“None of the real scientific evidence shows me being there. There’s no scientific evidence,” Tieman told jurors.
Valerie Tieman’s parents traveled from South Carolina to testify last week.
After the judge released the jurors, the jury foreperson hugged Sara and Allen Harmon on her way out of court.
“I returned the hug. It was nice to think that she sympathized to that level with me,” Sara Harmon said.
None of the prosecutors could recall a murder case in Maine where the defendant delivered his own closing argument.
But it was Tieman’s constitutional right to do so.
“There was no forensic evidence. There was no D.N.A. . There were no fingerprints. We’re very disappointed in the verdict. And we do plan an appeal,” Stephen Smith, Tieman’s attorney.
Luc Tieman returns to the Somerset County courthouse sometime next month.
That’s when a judge will send him to prison for anywhere from 25 years to the rest of his life.