Tiede seeks lighter penalty for rich widow’s death

February 6, 2014 • Entertainment

Appointed Judge Diane DeVasto presides over the Bernie Tiede hearing, Wednesday, Feb 5, 2014, in the 123rd District Court at the Panola County Courthouse in Carthage, Texas. Tiede , former mortician is serving a life sentence for the 1997 death of Marjorie Nugent, a rich [auth] East Texas widow. (AP Photo/The News-Journal, Kevin Green)

CARTHAGE, Texas (AP) — Attorneys for a former mortician serving a life sentence for the death of a rich East Texas widow are seeking a lighter sentence.

Bernie Tiede (TEE’-dee) is in prison for the 1997 death of 81-year-old Marjorie Nugent in a case that inspired Richard Linklater’s 2011 movie “Bernie.”

Panola County Court documents unsealed Wednesday show Tiede’s attorneys want to introduce new evidence of a history of severe sexual abuse of Tiede and an abusive relationship between him and Nugent.

Tiede’s attorney, Jodi Cole, writes that the abuse finally pushed Tiede over the edge and he shot his elderly companion.

Tiede, now 55, was convicted in February 1999 of killing Nugent and keeping her body in a freezer for nine months.

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