Bernie Punshment Trial Continues
The state has rested its case in the punishment trial of Bernie Tiede’s. Tiede’s criminal defense attorneys have begun presenting their defense case and hope to convince the jury that Tiede was a victim of childhood sexual abuse which contributed to his mental state when he shot his victim. The defense will also try to portray the victim, Marjorie Nugent, as a mean spirited bully who mentally abused Tiede.
The defense called the movie director Richard Linklater, who made this Bernie famous with his 2011 movie and set off a chain of events which led to the reversal of his life sentence and a new punishment trial. Linklater testified to Tiede’s good character and their friendship. On cross-examination prosecutors were able to score points for their case as well. Under questioning Linklater admitted his movie version of the events left out the theft of thousands of dollars Tiede committed prior to and after Nugent’s murder.
They also had Linklater admit he had heard many nice things about Mrs Nugent which would contradict the movie portrayal of her as a mean spirited controlling woman. The prosecution also asked Linklater about a fund raiser he hosted to raise money for Tiede’s defense.
The defense will also call experts who will offer opinions on Tiede’s mental state at the time of the murder. The defense will be walking a tight rope as it tries to portray the victim in a negative light. If they are not successful the jury may become angry and close their minds to a lighter sentence. The trial will probably come to a conclusion this week.