Bernie Tiede to remain in prison after court denies appeal - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Bernie Tiede to remain in prison after court denies appeal

Bernie Tiede (Source: Pool Cam) Bernie Tiede (Source: Pool Cam)
EAST TEXAS (KLTV) -

Convicted murderer Bernie Tiede has lost an appeal to have his murder indictment set aside and to obtain a new punishment hearing.

The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Appellate District of Texas sided with the trial court and found no fault with their judgment. The court detailed their decision in an opinion released Wednesday.

"As stated in the Court's opinion of this date, we find no error in the judgment of the court below. We affirm the judgment of the trial court," the document reads.

Tiede, 58, is serving a 99-year prison sentence for the 1996 murder of Carthage resident Marjorie Nugent, 81. It was 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.

The appeals court detailed the reasons for rejecting Tiede's bid in the documents.

"We affirm the judgment of the trial court because, (1) based on its limited jurisdiction on remand, the trial court correctly denied the motion to quash the indictment, (2) a sentencing agreement was not established, (3) the law of the case governed the issue involving suppression of Tiede’s confession, (4) the issues preserved by Tiede relating to the atmosphere of the trial and improper comments by spectators do not warrant reversal, and (5) the trial court properly modified Tiede’s "sentence to ninety-nine years’ imprisonment.

Wednesday's ruling followed months of back-and-forth briefs filed by the State and Tiede's lawyers.

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.

Tiede's team claimed 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.

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.

The appeals court cited statements during a Jan. 1, 2015 hearing supporting the State's argument.

THE COURT: That brings up another question. At the last hearing, you specifically said I think it was by affidavit - and it was included in our findings of fact and conclusions of law that there was an agreement as to the time served credit on the murder charge. Is that the agreement or is it not the agreement?

[State’s Attorney]: Your Honor, we’re going to visit with the victim’s family and we’re going to take into consideration their wishes and we’re going to review what was done and what the Court’s judgment, Court of Appeals judgment said when they overturned the punishment for life and ordered a new punishment hearing . . . .

[Defense Attorney]: Response, Your Honor?

THE COURT: Go ahead.

[Defense Attorney]: There are so many moving parts. I’m in full agreement with Mr. Davidson that it is premature to know what that final result is going to be or what -- or even guess at that. So we also understand that. We have no objection to delaying any kind of comment on that.

THE COURT: . . . If there is anything, any concerns either of you have about compliance with the terms of that mandate, we need to raise those now. Otherwise, we’re going to proceed with setting punishment hearing, set pretrial date, set the trial date and move forward.
Now, if there was some agreement that was made -- and I never accepted any agreement. There was never anything of that nature. But it certainly was discussed. It was put in the papers. And so what you’re telling me right now, if I’m reading you correctly, is that you just want some time to discuss it, discuss it with the victims, come back on March 3rd and have something to say at that point . . . .

[State’s Attorney]: Your Honor, I want an opportunity to visit with my victims to get their feelings on punishment.

"This exchange demonstrates that there was no “final result” and that Davidson had not yet actually agreed to a time-served sentence," the appeals court wrote in their opinion.
 

RELATED:
+Back behind bars: Bernie Tiede sentenced to 99 years or life in prison
+One day before trial, attorneys argue over Bernie Tiede's 1997 confession
+Bernie Tiede released from prison on bond
+Juror talks about Bernie Tiede trial and sentence
+Bernie Tiede wins appeal
+More coverage of the Bernie Tiede case

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