David Temple took a circuitous route to prison. He was first convicted of the murder of his pregnant wife, Belinda Temple, in 2007. Then, the conviction was reversed. He faced a retrial in 2019, and was convicted of murder a second time. But a mistrial was called after the jury could not agree on his sentence.
So where is Temple now? He is in prison, awaiting a court date to appear before a new jury for sentencing. His guilty verdict still stands, but his sentence is in limbo. Temple is now 51 years old. In August, 2020, he is still waiting to hear his sentence.
Temple was indicted in 2005 for the murder of his wife, Belinda Temple, who died on January 11, 1999. A jury found him guilty of murder in 2007, and he was sentenced to life in prison. His conviction was overturned just before Thanksgiving in 2016, according to the opinion filed in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The opinion found the prosecutor, Kelly Siegler, did not hand over evidence to Temple’s attorneys, which could have changed the results of the trial. Siegler now has a TV show, Cold Justice.
The case is being examined on ABC 20/20 tonight, August 14, 2020 at 9 p.m. EST in the encore episode of “Texas Love Triangle.”
Here’s what you need to know:
A Texas Appeals Judge Denied David Temple’s Claim of Actual Innocence, But Overturned the Guilty Verdict Based on Conduct of Prosecutor Kelly Siegler, Who Has a TV Show
He is NOT a hero, he’s a twice convicted murderer #davidtemple @crimeonlinenews . ‘Local hero’ coach from Renee Zellweger’s high school, convicted TWICE for pregnant wife’s murder, could walk free https://t.co/L1zwaVC0v6
— E (@___erin_____) October 30, 2019
A Texas judge, Larry Gist, conducted a two-and-a-half month writ hearing on David Temple’s appeal, which included the lengthy examination of 30 witnesses and 200 exhibits. His opinion overturned Temple’s conviction November 23, 2016. You can read the opinion in full here. Gist found that Prosecutor Kelly Siegler failed to hand over evidence which could have exonerated Temple. Siegler is now a well-known TV lawyer with her show, Cold Justice.
Temple filed an appeal following his 2007 murder conviction, asking for relief based on a claim of actual innocence, ineffective counsel, and a due process violation. The judge rejected the claim of actual innocence and the claim of ineffective counsel.
The judge accepted Temple’s Brady claim, which is a claim pertaining to law that requires prosecutors to turn over evidence to a defense attorney that could be favorable to the defendant. Much of that evidence involved a 16-year-old neighbor, identified in court documents as “R.J.S.” He was an early suspect in the case, along with David Temple. Police conducted an investigation into whether the teen murdered Belinda Temple, but the prosecution team did not hand over hundreds of pages of police reports to Temple’s attorney. She told the judge at the writ hearing she did not hand over the material because she thought the evidence was not relevant and found it “ridiculous.”
“There were at least five detectives who generated reports of their investigation of the murder, and there were approximately 1400 pages of offense reports in this case,” the opinion said. “Prior to trial, defense counsel requested copies of these reports, which he believed contained Brady evidence—including statements by R.J.S. and his friends, who were ‘rumored’ to have some involvement in the murder, and evidence provided by witnesses that could have supported an alternate suspect theory. However, defense counsel was denied access to them.”
Temple Was Convicted Twice of Murdering His Wife, But a Mistrial Was Called After a Jury Could Not Agree on His Sentence
The judge granted bond after receiving over a hundred letters against bond for this convicted murder. He was granted bond twice for this charge.
— BLM (@User31277529) October 29, 2019
David Mark Temple was convicted twice of murdering his pregnant wife, Belinda Temple, on January 11, 1999. He was not indicted on the murder charge until 2005. A jury found Temple guilty of murder in 2007, and he was sentenced to life in prison. However, that conviction was overturned November 23, 2016, after a judge found the prosecutor, Kelly Siegler, did not hand over evidence on a possible suspect. You can read the judge’s opinion in full here.
In August 2019, a jury found Temple guilty of murder again. However, after 19 hours of deliberation, they called a mistrial at sentencing. Temple’s guilty verdict still stands. A new jury will be called to determine his sentence in the spring, according to Chron News. Two jurors refused to continue deliberating after the 19 hours, which spanned three days. The jury foreman told the judge “any other jury” could have agreed on a sentence.
“Judge, severe violence has already been done to most of our conscience to even get this far,” Johnson read in a note penned by the jury foreman, according to Chron. “We believe it is a total fluke, a 1 in 1,000 chance this group of jurors was assembled.”
The jurors were considering a sentence that ranged from probation or five years to life in prison. Temple already served 10 years in prison in his wife’s murder.
His prison records show he is behind bars at Harris County Jail, where his bail is set at $999,999. He was booked into the jail August 6, 2019, after a brief period of freedom when his appeal was granted. His next court date is set for March 27, 2020.
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