Claiming self-defense, Chicago police officer plans to take stand on murder charges in girlfriend’s shooting

A Chicago police officer is expected to take the stand later this week at his trial on charges that he killed the mother of one of his children during an argument over whether he had secretly married another woman.

Pierre Tyler, 32, is accused of killing Andris Wofford — the mother of his 9-month-old child — after she confronted him in December of 2021.

Wofford, 27, believed she had found court records indicating Tyler had married a former girlfriend and the mother of his other children, prosecutors said.

“That decision is what cost her life,” Assistant State’s Attorney Michelle Papa told the jury Tuesday.

Tyler pulled out a 9mm handgun and shot Wofford once in the face, Papa said. “He left her to die in a pool of blood in the entryway of her apartment.”

But Tyler’s defense attorney Tim Grace countered that Tyler was defending himself when Wofford was shot. Grace said Tyler had briefly set down his “off-duty gun” and Wofford seized it and pointed it at him.

“He defends himself,” Grace said, adding that Tyler didn’t tell anyone or call for help because “nobody was going to believe him.”

Grace hopes jurors will believe Tyler when his client takes the stand later this week, and said Tyler made “a mistake” by not reporting it.

Absent from the courtroom’s gallery were any uniformed officers, who have been a conspicuous presence at other recent hearings where Chicago police have been the victim of a crime or when they’ve been on trial for alleged misconduct.

Tyler was dressed in a crisp button-up white shirt, yellow tie and dark blue pants. He mostly leaned forward on his elbows at the defense table Tuesday while listening to testimony.

Prosecutors have said surveillance cameras recorded Tyler going to Wofford’s home in the 2100 block of North Nashville the afternoon of Dec. 8 and leaving that night shortly after a neighbor reported hearing a muffled bang from inside the apartment.

Two neighbors testified Tuesday, including a woman who said she heard the couple arguing on Dec. 8 but her husband stopped her from knocking on the door, telling her to give them their privacy.

Another neighbor said she heard “a loud bang” and “possibly a thud” that evening, describing it as unusual and unnerving.

Wofford’s body was found the next day after her father asked to be let into her apartment because she never arrived at his home to pick up her kids or returned his calls.

Jurors saw photos and video of Wofford’s body, with blood pooled below her head, leading several people to leave the courtroom and others in the gallery to weep.

Wofford’s mother testified that she was also concerned about not being able to reach her daughter and contacted Tyler, who offered to pick the mother up from work the day after the shooting.

Tyler acted strangely when he arrived and barely talked on the way to her daughter’s home, she testified.

Wofford’s parents said they were aware that Wofford believed Tyler had secretly gotten married to another woman, apparently after finding some court records online.

But Grace told jurors there was no record of a marriage license and called Wofford jealous and violent, noting that she allegedly sent a text message to someone saying she wanted to kill Tyler over her belief that he had gotten married.

Tyler, a CPD tactical officer who joined the force in 2016, allegedly told investigators he was at Wofford’s apartment but left to meet a confidential informant for work.

At Tyler’s initial hearing on the charges, prosecutors claimed Tyler’s partners said they weren’t with him and that it would be “abnormal” for him to go on his own.

Tyler has been held in custody at the Cook County Jail since he was denied release at his initial hearing.

A spokesman for Chicago police said Tyler is “not an active member” of the department but didn’t immediately respond to a request for more information.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which investigates allegations of police misconduct, provided its final report to the police superintendent in April 2023 on the agency’s investigation into Wofford’s death and an earlier domestic incident that involved Tyler and Wofford.

In January 2022, Judge Mary Brosnahan, who is overseeing the trial, signed an order preventing materials from the investigation being released before the case concluded.

The trial is expected to continue through Friday.

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