District attorney's office recusing itself from David Temple murder case

Is David Temple being tried again for the murder of his pregnant  wife, Katy High School teacher Belinda Temple? He was released from prison in December 2016 after nine years behind bars when the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned his conviction. The Harris County District Attorney's office is now recusing itself from the case.                  

“I've never seen a case that has so many twists and turns,” says City of Houston Victim’s Advocate Andy Kahan.

It seemed to be 'case closed' in 2007 when former Alief Hastings High School football coach David Temple was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for the 1999 murder of his wife Belinda but things aren't always as they seem. 

“18 years later, we're still here right back to square one,” adds Kahan.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office has now removed itself from the case, citing a conflict because the judge who denied Temple a new trial in 2012 is currently the director of the office's integrity program and an employee who discovered potentially-helpful evidence for David Temple is now the office's Chief Investigator.

”It was plain as plain can be that we needed to recuse ourselves from the case so there could not be an appearance of impropriety,” says HCDAO Chief of Trial Division David Mitcham.

Belinda was pregnant with a baby girl who she planned to name Erin when she was shot in the head in her Katy home in January 1999. 

”Erin would have likely graduated high school this month if she had lived,” explains Kahan.

David Temple was freed from prison in December 2016 after an appeals court determined prosecutor Kelly Siegler either delayed giving or didn't give evidence to the defense.  

Brian Lucas, Belinda's brother, wiped away tears as he was standing alongside Kahan on Friday. Lucas' family believes Temple will ultimately be sent back to prison.

“We have known for almost 18 years that David Temple is guilty of first degree murder,” says Kahan.                 

The judge will now appoint special prosecutors before Temple's next court hearing which is scheduled for June 16. The special prosecutors will then review the case and decide whether to dismiss all charges against Temple or retry him for his wife's murder.