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Nugent family seeking information on money paid to officials for movie


December 16, 2014

By Lexie Cook


The Nugent family sent two letters Monday to Panola County District Attorney Danny Buck Davidson: one asking for information on his involvement in the movie 'Bernie' and another requesting evidence gathered for Bernie's murder trial. 

Shanna Nugent, granddaughter of Marjorie Nugent, believes there could be a conflict of interest if Davidson was paid for the making of the film that made her grandmother's killer famous. 

The letter requesting public documents from Davidson asks him to disclose if and when he met with the film's director and if he played a part in crafting Tiede's appeal. It also asks for records of all correspondence between any employee of the Panola County District Attorney's Office with the stars, writers, producers, directors and anyone associated with the movie "Bernie".

Shanna Nugent also wants information on the promotional events Davidson attended for the film. 

Her letter includes another request for a list of employees at the Panola County District Attorney's Office who reviewed or analyzed the Writ of Habeas Corpus, which introduced new evidence in Bernie Tiede's case and allowed him to be released from prison. 

The public information request for evidence gathered in Tiede's case seeks information gathered by Davidson for Tiede's 1997 murder trial.The Nugent family wants access to the financial documents they say prove Bernie Tiede murdered Marjorie Nugent for her money. 

Bernie Tiede was released from prison on bond in May. 

The Criminal Court of Appeals reviewed his case and decided Tiede should be granted relief in the form of a new punishment hearing. The Court referenced in its opinion that the decision to re-sentence Tiede was based in part on the new information that Tiede was the victim of childhood and adulthood abuse.

The Nugent family filed an amicus brief and motion for a rehearing with the Texas Court of Appeals earlier this month.

Tiede was sentenced to life in prison in 1999 for the 1996 murder of his 81-year-old companion.

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