HENDERSON, Texas (AP) — Opening statements are scheduled in the sentencing trial of an East Texas mortician whose murder case inspired the dark movie comedy "Bernie."

Bernie Tiede (TEE'-duh) was convicted in 1999 of killing Marjorie Nugent, a widow more than 40 years his senior whom he befriended in Carthage. Tiede was sentenced to life in prison, but freed after a prosecutor said he believed Tiede deserved a reduced prison sentence because of abuse he suffered as a child.

The proceedings leading to his release began thanks to publicity from the movie "Bernie," in which Jack Black plays Tiede and Shirley MacLaine portrays Nugent.

Jury selection in the sentencing trial began Friday and opening statements are scheduled for Wednesday.

Jurors could choose to send him back to prison.