Subject of film 'Bernie' appeals lengthy sentence for murder

AP News
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Posted: Mar 22, 2017 5:25 PM

TEXARKANA, Texas (AP) — A former Texas mortician whose legal issues were the subject of the 2011 film "Bernie" is appealing his sentence of 99 years to life in prison in the killing of a wealthy widow.

Bernie Tiede (TEE'-duh) was resentenced last year for his 1999 murder conviction in the fatal shooting of 81-year-old Marjorie Nugent, whose body was found in his freezer.

In a petition filed Tuesday with the Sixth Texas Court of Appeals, Tiede's attorneys argue that his 1997 indictment was tainted by a biased grand juror and that the jury that sentenced him was "repeatedly exposed to outside influence" in the form of non-case-related publicity, including the film in which he was played by actor Jack Black.

They also say a previous plea agreement calling for a 20-year prison system was breached.

Prosecutors say Tiede stole millions of dollars from Nugent.