The latest: What happened Thursday in retrial of David Temple

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - The retrial of a former high school football coach accused of killing his pregnant wife two decades ago began Monday with opening statements.

David Temple spent nine years in prison after a jury convicted him in 2007. After a lengthy appeals process, his conviction was overturned in 2016 for prosecutorial misconduct. He was released on bond while he awaited a new trial.

David Temple is charged with murder in the 1999 slaying of Belinda Temple.

Special prosecutors were appointed by a judge in 2017 to review the case and decide whether Temple would be tried again.

On Thursday, witnesses were called to testify.

Who took the stand Thursday in the David Temple retrial?

The prosecution called the following witnesses to the stand:

  1. Sgt. Dean Holtke, Harris County Sheriff's Office crime scene investigator, in 1999. He was primarily responsible for identifying and collecting evidence at the crime scene.
  2. "Jackie," a former neighbor of the Temples who testified that on two occasions she heard David Temple speaking in a raised voice to his wife.
  3. Detective Chuck Leitner, Harris County Sheriff's Office homicide investigator, in 1999. He was one of two principal homicide detectives in charge of investigating Belinda Temple's slaying.

Was the crime scene contaminated?

The defense team appeared to go down that road Thursday in its cross-examination of Holtke.

One exchange:

  • Defense attorney: "In all the pictures I have seen, you are not wearing gloves."
  • Holtke: "Those are outside pictures."
  • Defense attorney: "This appears to be you. Does it appear you are wearing gloves?"
  • Holtke: "No."
  • Defense attorney: "Are you inside the house?"
  • Holtke: "Yes, sir."

Memories fade

The crime occurred Jan. 11, 1999. Two decades later, Leitner, now partially retired, could not recall some of the details about the investigation by memory.

Leitner was asked several questions regarding minute details that he could not remember. He did appear to still have a tight grasp of the major points of the Temple case.

He had with him on the stand portions of his original reports, which he did not appear to refer to while on the stand Thursday. Leitner said he worked on the Temple case for two to three months and then transferred to another shift. Leitner testified that he interviewed Temple twice and that Temple was more agitated during the second interview.

Who is going to testify Friday?

That's a question not even Temple's defense team has the answer to. Only the prosecution knows.

The defense team has a list of possible witnesses that could be called to testify for the prosecution, but the defense team is not privy to the order, and neither is the public.

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