Bernie Tiede lawyers refute State's argument in latest brief - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Bernie Tiede lawyers refute State's argument in latest brief

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EAST TEXAS (KLTV) -

Attorneys for convicted murderer Bernie Tiede have fired back at prosecutors in the ongoing saga that is Tiede's quest to have his 20-year-old murder indictment set aside.

Tiede, 58, is serving a 99-year prison sentence for the 1996 murder of Carthage resident Marjorie Nugent, 81. It is the second sentence handed down to the former mortician from Panola County, and the result of a failed 2016 bid to have his sentence reduced.

An appeal was filed with the Sixth Court of Appeals shortly after a Rusk County jury sent Tiede back to prison. The state filed their own response to that appeal and now Tiede's attorneys have responded.

When the appeal was filed, defense attorneys argued that Tiede's right to due process was violated by the prosecution's breach of the sentencing agreement; that the state violated his rights by using an illegally obtained confession during his punishment retrial and that his rights were violated because of a biased grand juror, among other points.

RELATED: Bernie Tiede seeks to have 1996 murder indictment set aside

Now, Tiede's defense team is attempting to poke holes in the State's case, saying that one argument in particular "flies in the face of the Supreme Court's reasoning."

Tiede's team claims that he struck a deal with the district attorney that a 20-year sentence would be sought during the punishment retrial and that the State later reneged on that agreement.

"The most troubling aspect of the State's reply is the idea that the State can renege on a sentencing agreement when the defendant waives some right other than his right to trial," the documents say. " ... In Mr. Tiede's case, he waived the ability to challenge the legality of his conviction on the basis of newly obtained evidence Sixth Amendment violations because the prosecutor at the time agreed to seek only a 20-year sentence upon a punishment retrial."

By asking the jury to hand down a life sentence, attorneys say that the prosecution breached its agreement with Tiede.

However, Texas Assistant Attorneys General Lisa Tanner and Cara Hanna said in a brief filed June 21 that Tiede and his attorney failed to provide concrete proof of the agreement. No evidence of an agreement was presented in court.

Ultimately, Tiede and his team hope for his murder indictment to be thrown out or to gain a new punishment hearing.

"Mr. Tiede requests that this court reverse the trial court's decision on his motion to set aside the indictment and order that the indictment in this case be set aside," the document reads. "In the alternative, Mr. Tiede requests that this court reverse the punishment verdict and order a new punishment hearing."

The responses from both sides are standard procedure during requests for appeals.

The appellate court has yet to grant or deny the request

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