Protesters at Tiede trial: 'Hollywood should not control our legal system'

Published: Apr. 7, 2016 at 6:52 PM CDT
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HENDERSON, TX (KLTV) - As Day Two of the Bernie Tiede re-sentencing trial got underway Thursday, a small group of protestors showed up to speak out against the trial.

In 1999, Tiede was convicted of killing Marjorie Nugent, an 81-year-old widow from Carthage. He was sentenced to life in prison, but his sentence was overturned in 2014. A new re-sentencing trial is underway in Henderson.

When jurors were dismissed for lunch Thursday afternoon, the two protesters could be seen holding signs on the sidewalk by the courthouse saying, "Hollywood should not control our legal system." The signs referred to the 2012 film, "Bernie," based on Tiede's life. The film's director, Richard Linklater, and several actors have shown support for Tiede, even holding fundraisers to raise money for legal fees.

The two women declined to provide their names, with one saying, "We don't want him to know where we live in case he's let off."

THE LATEST: Day Two in the Bernie Tiede re-sentencing trial

One woman said she did not know the victim or defendant, but after reading news reports, she decided to drive hours to protest for justice.

The women said they were outraged that Tiede was released after a conviction and a confession. They deny seeing the film "Bernie" but said they had heard friends refer to Tiede as "poor Bernie" after watching the movie.

Originally they tried standing with the signs on courthouse property before they were asked by officials to leave and stay on the sidewalk.

After the lunch break, Tiede's defense attorneys told Judge Diane DeVasto the protesters signs were likely seen by jurors walking out of the courthouse. The defense asked for action by the court and asked that the gag order be lifted for everyone since these expressions were against Tiede.

Editor's note: Due to a ruling by the judge, updates will be provided during court breaks. No live tweeting, updating or streaming is allowed while the court is in session. 

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