A Panola County judge has ruled in favor Tuesday of moving an upcoming trial for convicted murderer Bernie Tiede, in order to find a fair and impartial jury.
According to court filings, the state claims a fair and impartial trial cannot be held in the county where Tiede and his victim, Marjorie Nugent, resided. Tiede was convicted of shooting and killing Nugent, his wealthy 81-year-old companion, in 1999 in Panola County.
Judge Diane DeVasto ruled Tuesday the trial would be moved to the city of Henderson, in Rusk County, in order to find an impartial jury.
READ MORE: Prosecutors seek to move Tiede trial to new county
Jury selection will begin on Jan. 11, 2016, when 400 jurors will be called for panel.
In a motion filed Oct. 19, the special prosecutor handling Tiede’s case says in Panola County there is “influence in favor of [Tiede].” Tiede was charged with the 1996 killing of Nugent, his wealthy 81-year-old companion. He was arrested in 1997 after Nugent's remains were found in a freezer where he had placed her body months earlier.
Tiede was sentenced to life in prison in 1999. After spending 17 years in jail, he was released from prison after a judge agreed to reduce his sentence. Tiede was released to the custody of movie director, Richard Linklater, in Austin in 2014. The former prosecutor on the case agreed that Tiede should not have been sentenced to life.
Tiede remains out on bond pending a new punishment trial to determine his new sentence.
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