SKOWHEGAN — Luc Tieman was quickly found guilty Monday of murdering his wife after a

Luc Tieman looks directly at the jury while delivering his own closing statements in Somerset County Superior Court in Skowhegan on Monday. He is charged in connection with the 2016 killing of his wife, Valerie. (David Leaming/Morning Sentinel)

jury deliberated for less than an hour.

Earlier in an unusual twist, Tieman personally delivered his own closing remarks to the trial jury Monday, adamantly denying that he killed “my beautiful wife.”

Tieman, speaking to the jury of seven men and five women, 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 that killed Valerie Tieman and that there were “alternative explanations” to much of what the state produced as evidence against him.

“The state is accusing me of murdering my beautiful wife, Valerie Tieman, which I didn’t do,” Tieman told the jury. “It would have helped if they could show a motive.”

In her closing argument to the jury, Assistant Attorney General Leanne Zainea asked rhetorically three times: “Who killed Valerie Tieman?”

“Your only conclusion, your only verdict is that he is guilty of murder,” she said of Luc.

The jury got the case just after noontime Monday.

The state rested its case Friday against Tieman, who has pleaded not guilty to the crime of knowing or intentional murder in the 2016 shooting death of his wife, Valerie Tieman. He faces 25 years to life in prison if he is found guilty.

A defense request for acquittal was denied. The defense then rested its case Friday, setting the stage for Monday’s charging of the jury.

Tieman said in court Friday that he had made up the story of Valerie’s disappearing from the Skowhegan Walmart store on Aug. 30, 2016.

“I changed my story a lot,” Luc Tieman admitted under oath Friday, as he took the stand against his lawyer’s advice.

He said he did so to save her parents the worry of their daughter going off with another man to do drugs. If she came back, it would make her look bad, he said. That part of the story was made up, too, Zainea said.

“You knew when you made up that story that Valerie was buried in your backyard,” Zainea said to him.

“No,” Tieman answered.

Valerie’s disappearance from the Skowhegan Walmart is among the police investigators’ “list of lies,” which also includes stories of camping sites he and Valerie had visited, the drug overdose death and Valerie’s “other man,” police have said.

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 neckwere the cause of death, according to a state medical examiner.

Tieman’s trial began a week ago in Somerset County Superior Court in Skowhegan.

This story will be updated.

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