David Temple, Katy man convicted of killing pregnant wife, granted new trial
HOUSTON – David Temple, the former Katy football coach serving a life sentence for the 1999 slaying of his pregnant wife, will be granted a new trial after a judge agreed that important evidence was withheld in his 2007 trial.
The Court of Criminal Appeals filed its opinion Wednesday saying, "We find that the method of 'disclosure' utilized by the prosecution did not satisfy the State's duty under Brady (Rule)."
Temple's family in Katy hopes to have him out of prison by Christmas.
David Temple lawyer hopes to have Temple out of prison by x-mas after new trial ordered on murder charge. pic.twitter.com/EWfE6g6YNx— Phil Archer (@KPRC2Phil) November 23, 2016
Wednesday Temple’s brother Darren said, “We will not stop until we see Belinda’s real murderer in prison, and until all of those who participated in this miscarriage of justice are held accountable for their actions.”
A Brady violation, stemming from the U.S. Supreme Court case Brady vs. Maryland, is when prosecutors fail to disclose key evidence that is favorable to the defendant and could influence the outcome of the case.
That evidence included phone records that defense attorneys say will help prove Temple's innocence.
Temple was an early suspect in the case, but so was a teenaged neighbor, who allegedly admitted that he burglarized the Temple home. During the trial Temple’s lawyer, Dick DeGuerin argued that the teenager was the real killer.
But DeGuerin was hampered, according to the appeals court, because prosecutors failed to turn over hundreds of pages of police reports and other evidence.
“You are not entitled under the Constitution to a perfect trial, but you are darn sure entitled to one that is fair.” Brian Wice-Channel 2 legal analyst said.
Belinda Temple’s father, Tom Lucas learned of the ruling at his home in east Texas shortly after it was handed down this morning.
City of Houston victim advocate Andy Kahan says it’s a tough blow for the Lucas family.
“It took almost six years to go to trial on this, and then after trial it was never ending, never ending, it was one thing after another for them.” Kahan said.
The Harris County district attorney can appeal the court’s order, dismiss the case, or retry it. The district attorney’s office had no comment Wednesday.
When asked about the next step, Scheider said they have to see what the state's does and hopefully they get a new jury. "First thing first, we get David out of jail and see if we get a new jury or not," he said.
Scheider spoke out about the findings at the time.
"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.
In 2014, 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 Temple killed his wife so he could be with his mistress, Heather Scott. He 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.
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