Appeals court upholds 99-year sentence for Tiede
Bernie Tiede had sought no more than 20 years in prison.
A state appeals court has upheld the new 99-year prison sentence given to Bernie Tiede, whose conviction for the 1996 murder of Marjorie Nugent formed the basis of the movie “Bernie,” an offbeat comedy by Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater.
In 2014, Tiede was granted a new sentencing-phase trial after arguing that he had acted in “sudden passion” triggered by a history of childhood sexual abuse, making him eligible for no more than 20 years in prison, instead of the life sentence handed down after his original trial.
Free on bond, Tiede spent almost two years living in Austin before his new trial in 2016, when jurors rejected his claims and imposed a 99-year sentence.
In his appeal, Tiede argued that the trial court should have enforced an agreement — reached by his lawyers and Danny Buck Davidson, the Panola County criminal district attorney — to seek a sentence equaling the almost 17 years Tiede had already served in prison.
Davidson, however, stepped aside from the case, and new prosecutors with the attorney general’s office opposed the shorter
Bernie Tiede was convicted of the 1996 murder of Marjorie Nugent.