A former high school football coach serving life in prison for the 1999 murder of his pregnant wife has been granted a new trial.
David Temple, 48, was convicted of shooting his wife Belinda Temple in the back of the head when she was eight months pregnant at their home in Katy, Texas 19 years ago.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled on Wednesday that important evidence was withheld in his 2007 murder trial.
Temple has always maintained his innocence.
David Temple, 48, was convicted of shooting dead his wife Belinda in 1999 at their home in Katy, Texas
Former Harris County prosecutor Kelly Siegler prosecuted the case against Temple at his 2007 trial.
She accused Temple of staging a burglary on January 11, 1999 at the couple’s home and fatally shooting his wife execution style because he was having an affair.
His wife Belinda, who worked as a high school teacher, was pregnant but the baby did not survive.
Temple, who taught and coached football in a nearby district, later married the woman he’d been seeing. He wasn’t charged in the killing until five years after it happened.
‘It was, in my opinion, a burglary by a gang of young thugs who had committed several very similar burglaries,’ Temple’s lawyer Dick DeGuerin said.
The appeals court previously upheld Temple’s 2007 conviction, but his lawyers appealed again, citing the prosecutor’s withholding of evidence, among other things.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled on Wednesday that important evidence was withheld in his 2007 murder trial where he was handed a life sentence
David Temple, pictured with his son Evan and wife Belinda, has been granted a new trial in Texas after he was jailed for the 1999 murder of his pregnant wife
Belinda Temple, who worked as a high school teacher, was pregnant when she was shot dead in 1999 and her baby did not survive
A state district judge last year ruled that the outcome of Temple’s murder trial would have been different if the prosecutor hadn’t withheld evidence from his attorneys and had disclosed other evidence to them sooner.
Temple’s lawyer have argued that Siegler withheld 1,400 pages of reports from investigators that pointed to another suspect until some time in the trial.
The state district judge found last year there were 36 instances of prosecutorial misconduct by Siegler.
It will now be up to prosecutors decide whether to appeal the court’s latest ruling or go ahead with a new trial.
Temple’s attorney said he was ‘elated’ by the ruling.
Prosecutors accused Temple (pictured with Belinda and Evan) of staging a burglary on January 11, 1999 at the couple’s home and shooting his wife because he was having an affair
Temple was a former Alief ISD football coach and Katy High School football star
‘I was still concerned because it had taken so long. It’s been a year,’ he said.
DeGuerin said he will now try to get Temple released on bond. He said he called Temple in prison to give him the news.
‘He’s extremely happy and relieved and hopeful that he can be home by at least Christmas,’ DeGuerin said.
Prosecutors haven’t said whether they plan to retry Temple for his wife’s killing.
Neither the Harris County district attorney’s office nor the prosecutor who oversaw Temple’s trial, Kelly Siegler, responded to messages seeking comment. Siegler is now in private practice.
The evidence contested in the appeal was hundreds of pages of police reports that Siegler believed she didn’t have to turn over to defense lawyers ‘if she did not believe it to be relevant, inconsistent or credible,’ the appeals court said.
The appeals court said that was a ‘misconception.’