HENDERSON, TX (KLTV) - The man Bernie Tiede's defense has accused of sexually abusing teenage boys denies ever having sexual contact with Tiede.
Since April 6, Tiede's resentencing trial for the murder of Marjorie Nugent has been underway in Rusk County.
Tiede was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1999 for killing Nugent, his 81-year-old companion.
The sentence was overturned in 2014 pending a new sentencing trial after Tiede appealed his sentence due to new evidence of childhood sexual abuse that was not raised in the 1999 trial.
Tiede's 83-year-old uncle, Elmer Doucet of Louisiana, was called as a defense witness on Monday. After repeated direct questions from defense attorney Mike DeGeurin, Doucet said he didn't recall ever having sexual relations with Tiede, teaching him how to masturbate, or showing him pornography.
DeGeurin then entered into evidence a letter written by the uncle to an imprisoned Tiede after 1999.
The letter contained suggestive statements that DeGeurin asked the witness to read aloud.
Tiede's uncle testified he "made up the whole thing because [he] knew what [Tiede] liked."
"I knew most of the content, I knew he would like to hear [it]," Tiede's uncle said of the sexual references in the letter.
"And how did you know that?" DeGeurin asked during direct examination.
"Because I knew he was gay," Tiede's uncle responded.
Defense attorneys brought in three other men to testify who have accused Doucet of molesting them as young boys.
The uncle denied molesting any of them.
In 2011, charges were filed against him by the three men in a Louisiana District Court, according to court testimony.
Tiede's uncle testified that the charges went away after his attorney filed a motion to suppress evidence. DeGeurin suggested through questioning that an expired statute of limitations was the reason for the dismissal.
Private investigator Kelly Womack took the stand for the defense and testified about a recorded statement taken from Doucet when Womack met Doucet at home. Womack read the transcript of the statement saying that Doucet admitted to sexual contact with Tiede while Doucet's wife was away in college. Womack testified that his research found that Doucet's wife was away in school during a time that Tiede was younger than 18. When asked about the recorded statement, Doucet said transcript was not a sworn statement and he did not receive a copy.
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