HENDERSON, Texas (AP) — Jury selection began Friday in the sentencing trial of an East Texas mortician whose murder case inspired the dark comedy "Bernie."
Bernie Tiede (TEE'-duh) was convicted in 1999 of killing Marjorie Nugent, a widow more than 40 years his senior who he befriended in the town of Carthage. Tiede was given life in prison, but allowed to go free temporarily after his original prosecutor said he believed Tiede deserved a lesser prison sentence.
The proceedings leading to his release began thanks to publicity from the movie "Bernie" — in which Jack Black plays Tiede and Shirley MacLaine portrays the widow, Marjorie Nugent.
But at a new punishment trial, jurors could decide to send him back to prison.
The trial is expected to start next week.