From the family of Marjorie Nugent:
AUSTIN, TX - Today, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals released an opinion on Bernie Tiede's appeal to his life sentence for murdering the elderly widow, Marjorie Nugent on November 19, 1996. The opinion remanded Tiede back to Panola County for a new sentencing on his punishment for the crime. The Nugent family released this statement
“There is no happy ending here. A confessed, convicted murderer is free. And any chance for justice for my grandmother is likely gone,” said Shanna Nugent, granddaughter of Marjorie Nugent.
Panola County District Attorney Danny Buck Davidson has said recently that he would set Tiede free for time served if the court grants Tiede a new sentencing hearing. The Nugent family feels very strongly that Davidson is mishandling this, and they want the Texas Attorney General's office to handle Tiede's sentencing hearing.
“Danny Buck Davidson is starstruck and he needs to recuse himself. A simple Internet search shows him arm-and-arm with the Hollywood celebrities who have been paying attorneys for two years to get Tiede a new trial. In light of this, does Davidson really represent the views of Panola County residents? No, he does not. The Texas Attorney General's office should handle the re-trial,” said Ryan Gravatt, a spokesman for the Nugent family.
The Nugent family insists that there is more to Tiede's story than what Davidson is bringing to the courtroom.
“Bernie Tiede's story is not the truth. The truth is Tiede stole from Marjorie Nugent because of greed, he victimized her and Tiede executed her to avoid getting caught. He's a con, a thief and a killer. The public should never forget this,” Gravatt said. “Tiede based his appeal on the reason he killed Marjorie Nugent. His sudden passion claim is a ruse. He was motivated by greed and fear.”
“Since the initial phase of Tiede's murder trial, the family feels Davidson has excluded the overwhelming evidence that proves Tiede executed Marjorie Nugent because he would soon be caught for victimizing her and stealing millions from her. The family has some of that evidence and they want the court to see all of it, which Davidson possess. It plainly shows why Tiede planned to kill Marjorie,” Gravatt said.
Family attorney Chad Baruch had this to say about the court's opinion: "Sadly, the Court of Criminal Appeals offers no rationale for giving Tiede a new hearing, which ultimately sets him free. This is a sad day for justice in Texas. Hollywood - 1, Texas Justice System - 0."