David Temple found guilty twice in wife’s murder, loses appeal

Court upholds mistrial in punishment phase

Twice found guilty of his wife’s 1999 murder, David Temple lost an appeal stemming from a mistrial declared during the punishment phase of his 2019 trial.

The judge declared a mistrial after jurors informed the court they were deadlocked and could not reach a decision.

Defense attorneys argued the judge abused his discretion in declaring a mistrial, which created a situation where Temple would be subjected to double jeopardy and denied his right to have a single jury decide his guilt and punishment.

Justices with the 14th Court of Appeals denied these appeals and essentially upheld the mistrial.

Temple’s attorney, Stanley Schneider, told KPRC 2 he was “disappointed” with the ruling and plans to appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals. Schneider said he does not anticipate a second punishment phase going forward until the appeal process is complete. There is no timetable for when the CCA may rule on the issue.

Belinda Temple was eight months pregnant when she was murdered in her Katy home in Jan. 1999.

David Temple was convicted of the murder in 2007 and sentenced to life in prison. In 2016, that conviction was overturned after his legal team successfully argued the original prosecutors in the case withheld evidence.

Temple was retried in 2019 and again found guilty. When the jury deadlocked on his punishment and a mistrial was declared, it meant a new jury would have to be seated to decide his punishment. A second punishment phase was scheduled for March 2020, but that was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

David Temple remains in the Harris County jail on a $1 million bond.