Tonight’s episode of ABC’s 20/20 rehashes the story of David Temple, who was convicted of the murder of his pregnant wife, Belinda Temple, in 2007. Temple’s conviction was later reversed, but he was again convicted again in 2019. However, a mistrial was called after the jury could not agree on his sentence.
In February 2020, a judge denied Temple’s request to be granted a third trial in connection with his wife’s murder. A new jury has since been selected, and they will work through the sentencing phase.
According to KHOU 11, the coronavirus pandemic has stalled the sentencing phase of the trial. The Supreme Court of Texas has extended the time before trials can resume until October 1, meaning Temple’s sentencing will have to wait until at least hten.
“When the jury came back, we felt an overwhelming relief,” Andy Kahan, Director of Victims Services for Crime Stoppers, told KHOU 11. “We were then submarined when the jury couldn’t decide on punishment.”
Temple is still in prison without an official sentence.
David Temple Says He Did Not Kill His Wife
David Temple said that came home on January 11, 1999 to find what looked like a home invasion. According to ABC News, the gate was open and a window on the backdoor was broken. Temple maintains that he had been out running errands with his then 3-year-old son Evan.
After running across the street to his neighbor Mike Ruggiero’s house, leaving Evan with him, Temple says he ran back to his home and found his eight-month-pregnant wife Belinda lying facedown in their master bedroom closet with a gunshot wound to the head.
That morning, Evan’s daycare had called Belinda and asked her to come get him because he wasn’t feeling well. She’d tried to get ahold of her husband, but he didn’t answer his phone until around noon. After she left work later, she stopped at her husband’s parents’ house to get some soup. Temple says he left home soon after she returned in order to run some errands.
Investigators Do Not Believe a Home Invasion Took Place
When investigating the crime scene, police noticed things that made them believe that the case wasn’t a burglary gone wrong, as they initially thought.
“As an investigator, you just know when you see something that doesn’t look right,” Sgt. Dean Holtke of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office told ABC, adding that the scene looked staged. “Where you would expect to see glass from a broken door, you don’t see it, and where you don’t expect to see it, there it is.”
They said that drawers had been opened but the items in them were not disturbed and jewelry left in plain sight hadn’t been taken by an intruder.
Detectives later discovered that Temple had been having an affair with Heather Scott, and that relationship was more serious than he’d implied when questioned about it. In June 2001, Temple and Heather Scott got married. Scott filed for divorce in July 2019.
Even with what they believed could have been a motive, police could not find enough evidence to pin the murder on anyone for years. Then, four years after the murder, FBI crime lab results found gunshot residue on the clothing David Temple was wearing the day of the murder.
He was arrested in 2004. The gunshot residue evidence was thrown out in court after the defense team found the lab for the FBI shared a ventilation system with a shooting range.
Now that he’s older, Evan Temple said he considers Heather Scott to be his mother since she raised him for over a decade, and he believes that his father did not kill his biological mother.