|The Temple Family before January 11, 1999|
Oh, prosecutorial misconduct. Damn you.
David Temple, convicted in 2007 of the January 11, 1999 shotgun murder of his pregnant wife, Belinda, was freed on bail December 28 pending a decision on whether to retry him. Why was a convicted murderer freed? Because the prosecutors in his trial withheld significant evidence from defense attorneys, including information about an alternative suspect. Law school 101, people.
Some background on the case.
David Temple was a coach at a Texas high school; his wife Belinda was a special education teacher at another local high school. Together they had a 3 year old son, Evan, and Belinda was six months pregnant with their daughter, to be named Erin.
|David Temple testifies|
On the day in question, Evan stayed home from daycare with a fever; Temple left his job early that day in order to be with him. According to his story, he took his son to a local park, to the neighborhood where he grew up, to a grocery store to buy two drinks and cat food and to a Home Depot, where nothing was purchased. Upon returning home, Evan remained in the garage while Temple found the back door ajar and the window broken. He then took his son to a neighbor's house before returning to discover his wife dead in the master bedroom closet.
The prosecution believes that Belinda returned home from work, went into the master bedroom closet in order to change clothes and was ambushed there.
Many things don't add up about Temple's story. First, if his son was suffering with a fever, would you really take him to a park, to a grocery store and a Home Depot and to the neighborhood where you grew up? If you believed the home had been burglarized, wouldn't you call the police first? Why did Temple have no fear upon entering the home himself?
|The door . . . in the courtroom|
And what burglar wouldn't take anything? The house wasn't disrupted, nothing was stolen. Jewelry was out in plain sight. It doesn't make sense that a burglar would go directly to the master bedroom closet. If Belinda was home, wouldn't she hear the breaking glass? I don't think she would stay in the closet, waiting to be murdered with a 12 gauge shotgun. And what burglar would carry such an unwieldy weapon? The majority of burglars don't want to enter a home while anyone is in residence; for that reason, house burglars usually don't carry weapons. Carrying a weapon also can up the ante on a conviction.
One more thing. The Temples owned a Chow dog. The police, upon responding to the call, were initially hesitant to enter the property because the dog was barking fiercely at the fence. Where was the dog when the intruder showed up?
So none of it makes sense. When you take all that and add in Temple's affair it looks as if he was trying to get out of that marriage as quickly and "easily" as possible. That opinion is certainly not changed by the fact that one month after the murder, Temple sent his mistress flowers for Valentine's Day.
The two of them would be engaged two years after the murder and married within six months. They are still married.
Another notable about this case is that the prosecutor was Kelly Siegler, who stars on her own reality show, Cold Justice on TNT. Yep, that Kelly Siegler. And yep, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals found that she suppressed evidence, also known as a Brady violation.
Do I think David Temple killed his wife and unborn daughter? Yes, I do. I think he wanted out of his marriage and didn't want to do so via divorce . . . very much like Scott Peterson. He made a number of mistakes but the prosecution, in its zest, zeal or however you want to define it, chose to violate due process and based on that choice, it's entirely possible that David Temple could end up a free man. A terrible injustice to Belinda Temple, baby Erin and their families.
|The final resting place of Belinda and Erin|