HOUSTON – The attorneys for David Temple, the former Katy football coach serving a life sentence for the 1999 slaying of his pregnant wife, say he should be released from jail immediately after a judge agreed that important evidence was withheld in the 2007 trial.
That evidence included phone records that defense attorneys say will help prove Temple's innocence.
Temple's attorney spoke out about the findings at a press conference on Monday.
"If she's [Belinda Temple] in that parking lot between 3:20 and 3:30 and her cellphone records say she's there at 3:30 too, then it's virtually impossible for David Temple to have committed this crime," Defense attorney Casie Gotro said. "So not only is this evidence beneficial to the defense, but it completely undermines the state's entire theory of prosecution."
Temple was found guilty in 2007 in the shooting death of his wife, Belinda Temple, who was eight months pregnant with the couple's child. His attorneys maintained since the conviction that the wrong man was behind bars.
Last year, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the murder conviction against Temple, but defense attorneys continued to fight, saying they could prove someone else is responsible for the killing.
Prosecutors said David Temple executed Belinda Temple in the bedroom closet of their Katy home on Jan. 11, 1999. The 30-year-old woman was pregnant with a baby girl she planned to name Erin.
Prosecutors said David Temple killed his wife so he could be with his mistress, Heather Scott. David Temple married Scott about two years after his wife's death.
In closing arguments of the murder trial, 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 his wife.
"He married his mistake," Siegler said. "The only difference was after Belinda was killed, he hid the relationship a little bit better."
Temple's attorney Dick DeGuerin argued the love affair was casual and that David Temple had already decided to end it.
"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.
DeGuerin portrayed David Temple as a loving husband and father. He insisted the circumstantial evidence presented over the five weeks of trial did not make him a killer. The 20-gauge shotgun used to kill Belinda Temple was never found.
The panel deliberated 6.5 hours before reaching the guilty verdict. David Temple was sentenced to life in prison and fined $10,000.