Ap­peals court up­holds 99-year sen­tence for Tiede

Bernie Tiede had sought no more than 20 years in prison.

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By Chuck Lin­dell clin­dell@states­man.com Tiede

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.

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