Judge replaces prosecutor for Bernie Tiede case

File - In this May 6, 2014, file photo, Bernie Tiede smiles after a court hearing granting his release at the Panola County court house in Carthage, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
File - In this May 6, 2014, file photo, Bernie Tiede smiles after a court hearing granting his release at the Panola County court house in Carthage, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

CARTHAGE, Texas (AP) — A Texas judge has appointed a special prosecutor to handle the retrial of the man whose murder conviction inspired the dark comedy “Bernie.”

Judge Diane DeVasto issued the decision Tuesday, a day after Panola County District Attorney Danny Buck Davidson asked that he and his staff be removed from the case because he was now a witness.

DeVasto granted the request and appointed Assistant State Attorney General Adrienne McFarland to the retrial.

Tiede was convicted of killing wealthy widow Marjorie Nugent and storing her body in a freezer. He was released from prison after a judge agreed to reduce his sentence, and Davidson agreed that the former mortician was wrongly sentenced to life imprisonment.

DeVasto also canceled a pre-trial hearing Tuesday. No new hearings or trial dates have been set.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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