Sentencing trial begins in case that inspired film 'Bernie'

AP News
|
Posted: Apr 06, 2016 10:25 PM

HENDERSON, Texas (AP) — A sentencing trial is underway for the East Texas mortician whose murder case inspired the dark comedy movie "Bernie."

Bernie Tiede (TEE'-duh) was convicted in 1999 of killing Marjorie Nugent, a widow more than 40 years his senior whom he befriended in Carthage. Tiede was sentenced to life in prison but freed after a prosecutor said he believed Tiede deserved a reduced prison sentence because of abuse he suffered as a child.

Jurors could now send him back to prison or let him remain free.

According to The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/1SBm644 ), prosecutor Lisa Tanner argued Wednesday that Tiede "was stealing Marjorie Nugent blind, and he was doing it cleverly."

But defense attorney Mike DeGeurin said Nugent controlled Tiede and had a "mean streak and an abusive streak."