Newspaper article regarding alleged childhood sexual abuse leads to new Bernie Tiede investigation

Panola Watchman
Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 9:13am

According to documents released by the Panola County District Attorney's Office, previously sealed documents prompted a reinvestigation of Bernie Tiede's case.

The documents include evidence regarding a newspaper article written by Tiede's nephew, stating Tiede had been 'severely sexually abused' as a child and the state has been able to verify the history of his childhood, according to the documents unsealed today from Tiede's attorney.

With a heavy police presence in courtroom, Bernie Tiede entered with his attorney, Jodi Cole, just after 1:00 p.m., Cole seeking relief for Tiede's life sentencing, with new evidence—and to discuss a pending felony theft charge against Tiede.

Judge Charles Dickerson who was the original judge in the case recently recused himself. Now, newly assigned former Smith County Judge, Dianne DeVasto, heard the case Wednesday and ordered more time to review prior proceedings. Judge DeVasto says a possible hearing to review the newly unsealed evidence, and discuss felony theft charge will possibly be held sometime in March. The new evidence could change Tiede's sentencing.

KMSS is on scene in Panola County and will update information as it becomes available.

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