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Bernie Tiede is a Free Man; D.A., Psychiatrist Recommended Release

After 15 years in prison, Bernie Tiede is a free man. Both Panola County District Attorney Danny “Buck” Davidson and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Edward Gripon recommended Tuesday that Tiede be released from prison on time served.


Judge Diane DeVasto set bond at $10,000. It stipulates that Tiede maintain steady employment, surrender his passport and not leave an area surrounding Austin. Tiede would live in an apartment provided by Richard Linklater, the director of the film, “Bernie”. Tiede left with Linklater last night.


Tiede’s case will now go to the Criminal Court of Appeals, who’ll make the final ruling on whether or not Tiede will be released permanently. There’s no time frame for that case.


Tiede admitted to killing his friend and Carthage millionaire Marjorie Nugent in 1996. He was convicted of Nugent’s death in 1999 and sentenced to life in prison. Under that sentencing, he would not be eligible for parole until 2027.


Dr. Gripon told the court that he believes Tiede experienced a dissociative episode when the offense against Marjorie Nugent was committed. He said he believes the incident was not premeditated.


Davidson said based on new evidence he believes a history of abuse and other factors led Tiede to kill Nugent. He told the court he no longer believes a life sentence is appropriate.

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