Subject of Linklater film could get new trial


CARTHAGE, Texas (AP) — An East Texas judge has sealed documents that could lead to a sentencing change in a murder case that inspired Richard Linklater’s film “Bernie.”

The Longview News-Journal reports state District Judge Charles Dickerson recused himself from a murder case against Bernie Tiede after sealing the writ of habeas corpus. Such documents allow a defendant to air grievances such as ineffective legal representation or new evidence.

Dickerson represented the estate of Marjorie Nugent. Tiede was convicted of killing the 81-year-old woman and keeping her body in a freezer for nine months.

A hearing has been set for Wednesday in Carthage in Tiede’s case. If the new judge decides arguments in the case need resolution, the case will go to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Linklater’s 2011 film won acclaim for turning the story into a black comedy. The titular character was played by comedian Jack Black. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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