Locals react to transfer of Bernie Tiede

Panola Watchman
Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 9:19pm

The East Texas man whose murder case inspired the 2011 film "Bernie" has been transferred back to the Panola County Detention Center. Sheriff Kevin Lake been informed that there is new evidence against Bernie Tiede, but said he doesn't know what type of evidence that is, although, according to the Panola Watchman, the new evidence could affect Tiede's sentencing. That's exactly what residents of the small East Texas town had been thinking. For years, a petition has been circulating to reduce Tiede's life sentence. Sharon Brady of The Bulldawg Stop said she has long heard rumors that Tiede thought his sentence was too severe considering his crime. In 1999, Tiede was convicted of murdering his companion Marjorie Nugent. Tiede killed Nugent by shooting her in the back 4 times. After killing her, Tiede hid her in a freezer for 9 months. It wasn't until her stockbroker came looking for her, that she was found dead in the freezer. Local Rodney Weaver thinks that Tiede got a fair punishment, and shouldn't be able to argue his way to a reduced sentence. However, he added, that if there is a new trial, since he's now retired, he'd likely go watch it. Panola County Chief Deputy John Depresca tells KMSS that Tiede, who was found guilty of murdering Marjorie Nugent in 1999, arrived at the county's detention center in Carthage late Tuesday night after a bench warrant was issued. A 'bench warrant' is a warrant that comes from the bench by a District Judge - in this case, District Judge Charles Dickerson. Dickerson issued the warrant on Friday, January 17th, requiring Tiede to be moved to Panola County by January 22nd. It was requested by District Attorney Danny Buck Davidson. "The warrant only orders us to go to a certain location, pick up a person and bring him back to Panola County," Depresca said on Wednesday. "We don't have all of the details as to why it was issued at this time." That doesn't mean people aren't trying to find out. Lake said he has received several calls from people asking him why he brought Tiede back to Carthage, to which he responds, because he had an order to do it. Panola County authorities also tell KMSS that they do not believe Tiede will be in Carthage for very long. Tiede was in the process of serving his life sentence in the Telford TDC unit in New Boston when the order came down. In February of 1999, Bernie Tiede was found guilty of murdering Mrs. Nugent and hiding her body in a freezer for nine months. He is not eligible for parole until August 2027. The case gained nationwide attention, and became even more popular with the dark comedy Bernie in 2011.

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