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What happened in David Temple's trial on Tuesday

HOUSTON – After three weeks of testimony, prosecutors in the David Temple retrial rested their case Tuesday.

Temple’s defense team began calling witnesses to the stand shortly thereafter.

Belinda Temple, who was eight months pregnant, was killed in January 1999. She was shot in the back of the head during a botched home invasion, according to Temple and his attorney. Temple has maintained his innocence since the very beginning.

Who testified on Tuesday?

Tom Bevel, a crime scene analyst and reconstructionist with more than 40 years experience, and Brenda Lucas, Belinda Temple’s twin sister, are among those who testified in court Tuesday. They were among the last group of witnesses called by the prosecution to take the stand.

What we learned during Tuesday’s testimony

Brenda Lucas recounted for the jury what she claims to have witnessed between Belinda and David Temple less than two weeks before her sister was killed and why it worried her so much.

She said that during a visit to her sister and brother-in-law’s Katy home in late December 1998, there was something different about how the couple acted toward one another.

“It was a lot more tense,” than usual, Lucas said.

Lucas told jurors that Dec. 27, 1998, the first night of her visit, she was in the living room, watching television after dinner and heard Belinda say to David, “You are not happy about having this baby girl.”

To which David Temple responded, “If you say that again,” Lucas said.

Lucas called Temple’s tone “hateful and disrespectful.”

Lucas explained there was another red flag.

“David was making fun of how big she was getting and how much weight she had put on,” Lucas said.

Lucas explained that she immediately stepped in to defend her sister.

“I told him to shut up,” Lucas said.

Bevel told jurors he believed the whole crime scene was staged and that Belinda Temple’s body had been moved after she was fatally shot.

“She was on one knee, crouched down in the closet. Her head was about one to two feet from the floor,” Bevel said.

Defense attorney Stanley Schneider argued David Temple did indeed move his dead wife’s body, explaining to the jury that “the 911 operator asked David Temple to perform CPR and check for a pulse,” Schneider said.

Schneider added that Temple had said in his statement to investigators that he straightened his wife’s legs to check for vitals. David Temple is about 6 feet, 4 inches tall.

At one point his attorney told him to stand up.

“Wouldn’t it be difficult for someone his size to shoot someone in the head who was crouched down and had her head so low to the ground?” Schneider said.

What's next?

The defense will continue presenting its case to the jury by calling more witnesses to testify.


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