The family of the late Marjorie Nugent is fighting back against the temporary release and bond conditions for confessed murderer Bernie Tiede.
According to an amicus curiae brief filed in the Austin Court of Criminal Appeals by the Nugents’ attorney, Charles “Chad” Baruch, of Rowlett, Texas, the Nugent family denies ever being contacted by District Attorney Danny Buck Davidson’s office concerning the May hearing that allowed Bernie to leave police custody and move to the Austin garage apartment of “Bernie” director Richard Linklater.
Roderick M. Nugent, Jr., the only child of Roderick and Marjorie Nugent, swore to and signed an affidavit declaring that, “on or before May 6, 2014, neither I nor my family was contacted and no attempt was made to contact me or my family by District Attorney Danny Buck Davidson, regarding new information or developments in the criminal case against Bernhardt Tiede II, the man convicted of my mother’s murder.”
That statement directly contradicts what DA Davidson said in court, Nugent granddaughter and Dallas-based business attorney Shanna Nugent -Cobbs said.
“When in fact we caught wind of all this in January we tried contacting Davidson’s office and all of our attempts to contact him went unanswered,” Shanna said. “That’s troubling because he didn’t consider the victim’s family point of view. More troubling was I read the hearing and he told the judge we had been notified.”
Shanna said people need to remember who the real victim is – her grandmother.
“Our perception is that our grandmother has been villainized, she was the victim in the case not the perpetrator. I feel strongly that the murderer is trying to say my grandmother deserved to be murdered, and I find that really offensive,” Shanna said.
Tiede was freed after serving 17 years of a life sentence for the 1996 murder of Nugent after his attorney, Jodi Cole Calloway, presented evidence of Tiede’s adolescent sexual abuse that was not included in the original trial.
Psychiatrists hired by Tiede’s attorney and the district attorney’s office agreed that the psychological damage of his abuse lessened his accountability for the crime.
Judge Diane DeVasto freed Tiede on the condition that he live in Bernie director Richard Linklater’s Austin home and work for his attorney.
Davidson, who prosecuted Tiede in 1999, agreed that he should be released.
“At minimum, the Court should have the benefit of hearing both sides of the argument,” the Nugent petition says. “No one can be harmed by permitting the presentation of countervailing arguments. To the contrary, presentation of additional facts and legal authorities would serve the ends of justice.”
While the Nugents say they respect the authority of the courts, they wish to see Tiede serve the remained of his punishment in a state prison.
“Obviously I want Bernie to fulfill his sentence, and the reason I feel so called to do this is because I think the district attorney didn’t do his job. Someone needs to stand up for the victims, elderly women who get abused, and the citizens of the State of Texas.”
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