New evidence claims that Bernie Tiede could be set free as early as next week
POSTED: Saturday, January 25, 2014 - 3:39pm
UPDATED: Monday, January 27, 2014 - 12:19am
Carthage, TX (KETK) — According to Texas Monthly, an East Texas man whose murder case inspired a 2011 film could be set free as early as next week.
Austin criminal defense lawyer, Jodi Cole, claims that she has come across new evidence which, if it had been divulged at the Bernie Tiede trial, would have explained his vicious act of violence towards Mrs. Nugent and perhaps would have led the jury to be more lenient in its sentencing.
This coming week, Cole will be filing a writ of habeas corpus (which gives a prisoner an opportunity to air grievances related to the handling of his case) in the state distric court where Bernie was originally tried.
Cole will ask Bernie to be freed after having served 16 years of his life sentence.
Earlier this week, county officials have been informed that there is new evidence against Bernie Tiede who has been transferred to Panola County Jail, but say they do not know at this time what type of evidence has been found, although, according to the Panola Watchman, the new evidence could affect Tiede's sentencing.
Panola County Chief Deputy John Depresca tells KETK 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.
"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."
Panola County authorities also tell KETK 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.
KETK newspaper partner, The Longview News-Journal, also put together an in-depth piece on Tiede titled "The Killer Inside Him". Click here to see more on that special report.
Photo of actual freezer where Nugent's body was found, taken by KETK news.