SKOWHEGAN — Luc Tieman never said he was sorry.

Tieman, 34, convicted last month of murdering his wife in August 2016 and burying her body behind his parents’ home in Fairfield, never admitted to killing her.

He never took responsibility for her death.

A jury of seven men and five women deliberated for less than an hour April 9 before finding him guilty of intentional or knowing murder in the death of Valerie Tieman, who was 34.

He faces 25 years to life in prison.

Sentencing on the guilty verdict is set for 8:30 a.m. Friday before Justice Robert Mullen at Somerset County Superior Court in Skowhegan.


Assistant Attorneys General Leane Zainea and Leanne Robbin, the state prosecutors, are seeking a sentence of 55 years to the Department of Corrections. There is no parole in the state of Maine.

“The state is accusing me of murdering my beautiful wife, Valerie Tieman, which I didn’t do,” Tieman told the jury as he delivered his own closing arguments in the trial that lasted five days in April. “It would have helped if they could show a motive.”

The jury didn’t believe him, returning with a guilty verdict in about 50 minutes.

The killing is believed to have taken place Aug. 25, 2016 — 15 days before Valerie’s parents reported her missing and five days before Tieman claimed his wife had disappeared from the Skowhegan Walmart, although he did not report her missing.

Rose Gray, the jury forewoman in the Tieman trial, said she heard him change his story, contradicting himself about his wife’s disappearance and death. She said she saw through the lies: professing love for Valerie Tieman even as he got confused by his own stories that were undercut by a mountain of evidence against him.

“I listened to every word,” Gray said. “He was always changing his story. He was very unbelievable. Everybody on the jury felt like he knew what was in the burial site before it came out what was in the burial site. He knew what was there. Only the person that did that would know what was buried with her body. All of the jurors agreed on that.”


Tieman, speaking to the jury — he also had taken the stand against his lawyer’s advice — was disjointed in his remarks and at times made references that were not previously brought forward as evidence during testimony at trial. He appealed to the jury’s “common sense,” saying it could not have been him who killed Valerie Tieman and that there were “alternative explanations” to much of what the state produced as evidence against him.

Tieman said in court that he had made up the story of Valerie’s disappearance from the Skowhegan Walmart store on Aug. 30, 2016, but that he didn’t kill her.

“I changed my story a lot,” Luc Tieman admitted under oath.

In her closing argument, Zainea went back over all the evidence presented during five days of witness testimony. Valerie’s disappearance from the Skowhegan Walmart is among the police investigators’ “list of lies,” which also included stories of camping sites he and Valerie had visited, the drug overdose death and Valerie’s “other man,” police have said.

Tieman admitted to having an affair with another woman, and he was aware that a Waterville woman had sent Valerie messages saying that her husband was cheating on her. He said Valerie had died of a drug overdose.

Drugs were found in Valerie Tieman’s body during an autopsy performed Sept. 21, 2016, but the drugs did not kill her. Two gunshot wounds to the head and neck were the cause of death, according to a state medical examiner.


Inside Valerie Tieman’s shallow grave, police, in September 2016, found a Mason jar containing flower stems, a wedding band and a handwritten note on an index card.

The note opened with the words “To my one and only Joy-Joy. Flower. Forever.”

The words in the note read: “I love you Valerie Joy T. I’ll love you forever. Rest in peace. My heart in Jesus,” with an X and an O, “hugs,” exclamation points, and an apparent reference to Luc Tieman’s marriage nickname “Luc-e” the bear.

The grave note contained language similar to that in other notes found among Valerie Tieman’s possessions taken from the Tieman home at 628 Norridgewock Road in Fairfield that September.

Valerie Tieman’s body was found wrapped in an orange, black and white blanket with the Mason jar “near her head.”

Under the body, police found a potato chip bag, a box of SweeTarts candy, a plaid shirt, a blue-and-gold woven knit hat and a bottle of Gucci cologne or perfume called Guilty.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367


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