New sentencing for ‘Bernie’ mortician

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ highest court has granted a new sentencing hearing for the mortician whose conviction for killing his longtime companion and storing her body in a freezer inspired the dark-comedy movie “Bernie.”

Bernie Tiede was sentenced to life in prison for the 1996 shooting death of 81-year-old Marjorie Nugent. But he was released from prison earlier this year, after a lower court ruled the sentence was overly harsh.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday largely sided with Tiede. His attorneys said jurors weren’t told he felt abused by Nugent or that he was sexually abused as a child.

Nugent’s family wants him returned to prison.

Nugent’s body was found in a freezer in her home nine months after she went missing in Carthage, about 150 miles east of Dallas.