A convicted Texas murderer who inspired a Hollywood movie was released from prison this week with a strange condition — that he live in the film director’s garage apartment, The Los Angeles Times reports.
In 1996, 38-year-old assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede killed an 81-year-old wealthy widow he befriended after handling her husband’s funeral. When Tiede’s close friendship with Marjorie Nugent soured, he shot her four times, hid her body in her own freezer, and spent her riches, according to the LA Times.
The bizarre story became the subject of the 2011 movie “Bernie,” directed by Richard Linklater and starring Jack Black as Tiede. (Linklater has directed a number of other movies, including the Academy Award-nominated “Before Midnight,” “Dazed and Confused,” and “School of Rock.”)
Since “Bernie” came out, Linklater has quietly sought Tiede’s release from prison amid new evidence he was sexually abused as a child. That revelation was also tied to the film, since it was a lawyer and fan of the movie named Jodi Callaway Cole who first discovered sexual abuse self-help books while digging into the case, the New York Times reported.
In light of that new evidence, the original prosecutor (played by Matthew McConaughey in the film) told the Texas judge he thought Tiede’s life prison sentence should be reduced to time already served. The judge agreed and recommended that he be released on $US10,000 bond pending the approval of an appellate court. Linklater said in front of the court that he would let Tiede live in his Austin garage apartment, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Along with the judge’s condition that Tiede live in Linklater’s garage, he must also receive counseling for his sexual abuse, stay in the Austin area, and remain employed as a legal clerk for Cole, Entertainment Weekly reported.
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