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Nugent Family Statement on Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Mandate

December 23, 2014
Contact: Ryan Gravatt, 512-217-5316

AUSTIN, TX - On Monday, the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals issued its Mandate that Panola County bring convicted murderer Bernie Tiede back for a new sentencing hearing. In November, the court vacated Tiede's life sentence, and now a Panola County court will have to issue a new sentence for the crime of the murder of Marjorie Nugent.

The Nugent Family continues to be saddened and upset that the Panola County District Attorney appears to be thwarting justice and withholding evidence from the court. The district attorney has in the courthouse all of Tiede's financial records and Marjorie Nugent's financial records, including many forged checks and Tiede's bank records that the family says shows that Tiede stole millions from Marjorie Nugent in the course of 6 years. The family contends Tiede murdered Nugent to prevent getting caught in a scheme of conning Marjorie out of her savings and investments.

"We want Judge Diane DeVasto to request a pretrial investigation report from the district attorney showing all the evidence collected in this case," said Shanna Nugent, Marjorie's youngest granddaughter. "We want the judge to do this so that at least one other person evaluates all the evidence before setting a convicted murderer free. Our family continues to hope for justice, and we have made clear that we believe the court has not seen all the evidence in this murder. We know there is evidence in the Panola County courthouse that proves Tiede killed my grandmother for greed. That was his motive in this murder."

The Nugent Family has released checks that Tiede forged and cashed the day after he murdered Marjorie Nugent. The family has done research on the evidence that is publicly available.

"We believe the evidence demonstrates that Tiede stole about $3 million from our grandmother before he killed her and roughly $500,000 after he killed her," Shanna Nugent said. "We are hoping for a trial in front of a jury to vet all the evidence in this case, including Tiede's alleged sudden passion defense, in the murder of my grandmother."