SKOWHEGAN — A Fairfield man charged with murder in connection with the death of his wife is expected to face trial sometime next year, now that a key court deadline has passed for the state to deliver what it has for evidence in the case.

Luc Tieman, 33, is charged in the shooting death of Valerie Tieman, 34, and burying her body in his parents’ yard in Fairfield. Valerie Tieman’s body was found Sept. 20 wrapped in a blanket and buried in a shallow grave behind Tieman’s parents’ home on Norridgewock Road. Luc Tieman was arrested and charged with murder the following day.

While no trial date has been set, Tieman is likely to stand trial sometime in 2018, according to the man’s lawyer, Stephen Smith, of Augusta. He said there have been no court proceedings since Tieman pleaded not guilty to the murder charge Nov. 18, and Tieman remains held without bail at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison.

Smith said the deadline for all discovery evidence was set for Feb. 18, but because that date was Saturday and with Monday having been the Presidents Day holiday, the deadline was essentially Tuesday.

The discovery process is a pre-trial procedure in which the prosecution provides the defense with all investigative reports, interviews and scientific results to be used as evidence when the case goes to trial. Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, who is prosecuting the case, did not return messages for comment on the case Tuesday or on the deadline for discovery.

“We’ve got the discovery; we’re working our way through it,” Smith said by phone Tuesday. “The discovery period is simply a deadline set by the court. In a criminal case, that deadline is typically required to be met by the state, and by that deadline they are required to provide the evidence they have to that date.”


Smith added that “the bulk” of all the discovery reports and other evidence has been received, but that it’s not uncommon to have other evidence trickle in during the months leading up to trial.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said in September that the death officially had been ruled a homicide and was caused by “gunshot wounds of head and neck.” Beneath the body were a bag of potato chips, a bottle of perfume and a note that “reportedly has an apologetic tone,” according to investigators.

Tieman pleaded not guilty in November to the murder charge in Somerset County Superior Court in Skowhegan.

Smith said Tieman continues to maintain his innocence but would not discuss what type of defense they would mount.

“Mr. Tieman has served his country honorably in several deployments, and we expect the public and the state to withhold judgment until trial,” he said.

Tieman is a disabled Army veteran who served in Iraq and reportedly suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorder. Around 7 a.m. on the morning police arrested Luc Tieman in Waterville and charged him with killing his wife, his mother sent a text message a friend to say she was taking him to Togus VA Medical Center in Augusta to see a crisis counselor.


“Luc Tieman is an honorably discharged veteran,” Smith said outside the courthouse after Tieman’s initial appearance in court in Skowhegan. “He has served in combat zones, and we expect that the public will not exercise a rush to judgment. We believe at the end of this process he will be vindicated.”

Valerie Tieman had been reported missing Sept. 9 by her parents in South Carolina. The murder is alleged to have taken place Aug. 25 — 15 days before her parents reported her missing and five days before Tieman claimed his wife disappeared from the Wal-Mart parking lot in Skowhegan, but he did not report her missing.

In interviews with the Morning Sentinel, Tieman’s friends said he had been unfaithful to his wife and sought companionship with other women, telling them his marriage was ending around the time she disappeared.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367


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