A former Texas high school football coach was found guilty for a second time of murdering his pregnant wife while having an affair with a young teacher at his school.
David Temple was initially found guilty in 2007 of shooting Belinda Temple in the back of the head at the family’s home in 1999 when she was eight-months pregnant with the couple’s second child, but that verdict was later thrown out due to prosecutorial misconduct.
A second jury convicted Temple of first-degree murder again on Tuesday, after deliberating for just more than eight hours, according to KHOU.
“The evidence was still there. It never changed,” Belinda’s brother Brian Lucas said after the verdict was announced. “David was guilty from day one. The phone call I got that night, 10 minutes to 9 on Monday night, January 11, I said he was guilty then. Twenty-and-a-half years later, David Temple is still guilty.”
Belinda Temple was found shot to death in the back of the head in her master bedroom closet. She was killed shortly after she’d come home from her job as a special education teacher at Katy High School. Prosecutors believe David Temple killed his wife because he was having an affair and wanted out of the marriage, then staged the scene to appear like a burglary, local station KTRK reports.
Both prosecutors and the defense team acknowledge that David Temple had been sleeping with Heather Temple, a young teacher at the school where he coached, at the time of the murder, People reports. The pair would later marry two years after Belinda’s death.
“There was only one person on this Earth who had the motive, the means and the opportunity to cause her death,” state prosecutor Lisa Tanner said during the re-trial.
However, David Temple has always maintained that he came home and discovered his wife dead after a burglary. A phone was nearby her body, but she was never able to call for help.
His attorney, Stanley Schneider, had argued that prosecutors had “tunnel vision” and never considered other possible killers, including a disgruntled student from Belinda’s school.
A jury first convicted David Temple of murder and sentenced the football coach to life in prison in 2007. He served nine years behind bars before the conviction was tossed out by an appeals court due to allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. The appeals court determined that prosecutor Kelly Siegler had withheld favorable evidence from the defense.
After finding David Temple guilty of murder a second time earlier this week, the jury is now deliberating on a recommended sentence. Temple could be given anywhere from probation to life in prison, according to The Houston Chronicle. While that possible sentence is no longer allowed under current Texas laws, it was possible in 2007 when Temple was first convicted.
Prosecutors urged the jury to recommend a life sentence, noting that Temple’s unborn daughter was also killed. The couple’s son Evan, was just 3 years old when his mother was killed.
However, the defense argued for a lighter sentence.
“I believe in all my heart and soul that David is not guilty of killing his wife,” Schneider said. “It’s hard for me to sit here and talk to you about punishment.”
Heather Temple stood by her husband during the initial trial and the time he served behind bars, but filed for divorce as the second trial got underway.
In a statement released after the verdict through her attorney, she asked for privacy.
"Please continue to respect the privacy of my client, Heather Temple, and her family, as this is a difficult time. Heather's only concern right now is for her stepson Evan, and she has declined to provide any interviews currently and in the future,” it said.
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