HOUSTON – A man accused of killing his pregnant wife with a shotgun was found guilty of murder on Thursday, KPRC Local 2 reported.
Prosecutors said David Temple executed his wife, Belinda, in the bedroom closet of their Katy home on Jan. 11, 1999. Belinda Temple, 30, was 8 months pregnant with a baby girl who she planned to name Erin.
The 20-gauge shotgun used to kill her was never found.
David Temple's parents broke down and cried after hearing the verdict while family members consoled them.
Belinda Temple's parents were relieved that justice was finally served.
"People tell us -- sometimes over the years -- have told us, 'Get over it.' You can't get over your baby -- especially in these types of circumstances. I mean, you know, it's senseless -- put a shotgun to my baby's head and blow her brains out. It just wasn't right. And I'm so glad justice has prevailed," father Tom Lucas said.
"I suspected him in 10-minutes time on the night she was murdered," said Brian Lucas, Belinda Temple's brother.
The panel deliberated six and a half hours before reaching the verdict.
Jurors began Thursday by asking for and receiving a map of the neighborhood where the killing occurred. They also asked for a list of the witnesses in the case and a transcript of the closing arguments, but the judge denied those requests.
Prosecutors said David Temple, 39, killed Belinda Temple so he could be with his mistress, Heather Scott. David Temple married Scott about two years after Belinda Temple's death.
"Even though motive is not an element of defense, anybody who ever watched Law & Order sees Jack McCoy talking about motive being important because jurors ultimately want to know why something happened -- particularly, in the context of something as senseless and as gruesome as this," KPRC Local 2 legal analyst Brian Wice said.
In closing arguments, prosecutor Kelly Siegler insisted David Temple is the only person who had both the motive and opportunity to kill Belinda Temple.
She told jurors that the only way he could be with Heather Scott was to get rid of Belinda Temple.
"He married his mistake," Siegler said. "The only difference was after Belinda was killed, he hid the relationship a little bit better."
Defense attorney Dick DeGuerin continued to proclaim his client's innocence even after the verdict.
"Kelly Siegler has finally done what Richard Haynes predicted she would do. She's convicted an innocent man. David Temple did not kill Belinda Temple. This is a tragedy. It's a tragedy for David. It's a tragedy for his family and it's a tragedy for David and Belinda's son, Evan," DeGuerin said.
Siegler accused Temple and his entire family of lying on the stand to protect him.
"When you have family like the Temple family, who pretend to be the paragon of Katy, Texas, and they get up here, one, two, three, four, five of them and they make a mockery of judicial system," Siegler said. "They committed more aggravated perjury in this trial than this building has heard in a decade."
DeGuerin argued the love affair was casual and that David Temple had already decided to end it.
DeGuerin portrayed David Temple as a loving husband and father. He insisted the circumstantial evidence presented over five weeks of trial did not make David Temple a killer.
David Temple faces from five years to 99 years in prison.
The punishment phase of the trial begins at 9:30 a.m. on Monday.