Hearing set for Bernie Tiede in Panola Co. court - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Hearing set for Bernie Tiede in Panola Co. court

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Bernie Tiede in a 2012 prison interview Bernie Tiede in a 2012 prison interview

Bernie Tiede, a former director at a Carthage funeral home, will appear in a Panola County courtroom next week

Tiede admitted to killing his friend and Carthage millionaire Marjorie Nugent in 1996. He was convicted of Nugent's death in 1999 and sentenced to life in prison. Under that sentencing, he would not be eligible for parole until 2027. The saga was documented in the 2011 film Bernie, starring Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine.

Last week, however, Tiede was transferred from his prison cell in New Boston to the Panola County Detention Center. Authorities say new evidence has surfaced in the case, and Tiede will now appear before an administrative judge on Wednesday, February 5 at 1 p.m.

Tiede also has a new attorney, Jodie Cole, who reportedly organized an interview between Bernie and a psychiatrist that uncovered Bernie had been abused by a family member when he was a teen, which could have contributed to his violent behavior.

According to the report from Texas Monthly, Cole claims Tiede suffered childhood abuse from a family member as a teen, which could have contributed to his violent actions against Nugent. Cole arranged for Tiede to meet with a psychiatrist, who found in his report written in December that Bernie had been an "exemplary prisoner since his 1997 arrest," including teaching health courses to other inmates, attending weekly chapel service and obtaining his paralegal certificate though online courses. That psychiatrist also found that "it is extremely unlikely that…Mr. Tiede would ever commit any similar act in the future."

On Thursday, Judge Diane DeVasto, who was formerly a judge in Smith County, was appointed Tiede's appeal.

If the DeVasto decides the argument has merit, Tiede could be released immediately on bond while he awaits a new punishment hearing. He could also receive parole and be permanently released.

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