HOUSTON – A former Alief football coach twice convicted of murdering his pregnant wife will learn his punishment 24 years after the crime.
There will be opening statements and testimony in the David Temple trial Monday.
In 1999, eight-months-pregnant Belinda Temple was shot in the back of the head. The couple shared a 3-year-old son at the time of her murder.
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Temple was twice found guilty of her murder. Here’s the timeline of events:
Temple was convicted in 2007 and sentenced to life. While serving out his sentence in 2016, the conviction was overturned after it was found that prosecutors withheld evidence. He got a new trial three years later and was again found guilty.
However, while the jury was trying to figure out sentencing, they were deadlocked and unable to decide unanimously.
The judge then declared a mistrial, meaning a new jury must be seated to determine his punishment.
March 2020 – it was postponed because of COVID-19.
“Back in the day, if the jury couldn’t reach a decision as to punishment, the defendant got an entirely new trial, but the legislature thought that was an unfair windfall, and so now anytime the jury is unable to reach a decision as to the jury’s punishment, the defendant only gets a new punishment hearing,” KPRC 2 legal analyst Brian Wice said.
“If this case was being tried today, David Temple would not be eligible for probation because probation is no longer part of the applicable punishment range for murder. But because this case is so old -- this crime occurred some 24 years ago -- the code of criminal procedure provided for probation in an appropriate case, so the punishment range runs the gamut.”
The jury’s choices for punishment range from life in prison to probation.