On January 11, 1999 David Temple, a high school football coach, found his pregnant wife, Belinda Temple shot to death in their home. In his trial 9 years later, David was found guilty of her murder and sentenced to life in prison. I do not believe the jury got it wrong. They were right to find him guilty.
In the legal world, the case is what they call a circumstantial case. District Attorneys do not like to go to court on a circumstantial case because it means they do not have any evidence to back up their claim. They do not have fingerprints, footprints, or any DNA. They do not have anyone coming forward with a confession. They have the contrary; they have one person that they has come up in their investigation repeatedly. Kelly Siegler, the Prosecutor, has a saying, “if you take one wooden pencil (each wooden pencil represents one string of circumstantial evidence) and try to break it, most likely, you will break it. If you take a second wooden pencil and add to the first, then try to break it, you might be able to break it. But, the more wooden pencils, the more pieces of circumstantial evidence, you put together, the more unlikely it becomes to break it” I happen to agree with her. There comes a point when one has to come out and say, “oh, come on now, admit it”.
Let me review some of the evidence that they did have:
- Shaka – David’s Chow that was ferocious with everyone except David, Evan, and Belinda Temple;
was in the home at the time of the murder. The dog was not drugged. When the police arrived on the scene, Shaka was so ferocious; they almost had to shoot it to get into the house the help Belinda.
- The door that gave entry to the burglar (David Temple’s story … and he has stuck to it) was broken while the door was open.
- Belinda only drove while wearing her glasses … her glasses were on when she was shot.
- Belinda always pulled her shoes off at the door when she came in … her shoes were on her feet when she got shot.
- Belinda had gone to David Temple’s mom’s house to pick up some soup for Evan because he was sick before she came home from work … the soup was sitting on the kitchen table after the murder. A caring mom usually would have fixed Evan a bowl and put the rest in the Fridge for later. A bowl was not made for Evan and she never put it in the fridge.
- David said that Evan had been riding his bike in the garage when his mother was murdered … Evan’s bike was hanging on the wall in the garage.
As with most cases, David Temple had the oldest motive in the book, a girlfriend. David Temple told Heather Scott that he “loved” her three days prior to Belinda Temple’s death.
Here are a few of my issues with David Temple and Heather Scott:
- In his trial, David blamed the teen who lived next door for the burglary and murder.
- Just like all the other students at Katy High School, that teen liked Belinda. Sure, he did not like the discipline that came from her for his lack of attendance, but he liked her as a person.
- It kills me that he would try to put a teen in prison for life for something he did.
- Soon after Belinda’s death, Heather and David started their relationship.
- A year after her death, Heather and David got married.
- I have to wonder, how can Heather live with a man that clearly murdered his wife?
- How can Heather resolve the fact within her own mind that David wanted to blame a teen for what he done rather than take the blame himself?
- Finally, what does Heather think he is going to do when he gets tired of her; or thinks she is getting fat, or David simply wants another woman, if he gets away with this murder?
No, these are not incriminating facts, but they are definitely some things to take into consideration. One could say that means Heather has full faith that David is innocent and therefore we should consider those. Some could argue that David has convinced Heather to help plead his case by remaining in the relationship with him. Others might say that Heather is throwing caution to the wind and putting her life at stake for someone who never considers others himself.
Due to some mistakes made during the prosecution of David Temple, a Judge has granted him the right to a new trial. He is gave a $30,000 bond and his family scraped every dime and was able to get him out of prison until his next trial. Here is my problem with a Judge doing this. After every high profile court case, the first thing people yell is the jury got right; or the jury got it wrong. I worry about the juries coming to a point where they do not want to make decisions in court cases because the Judge may come behind them and rule against it.
I can understand granting him a new trial, after all, our appeals process would not be complete without one. I do not think we should grant him a bond while awaiting that new trial. We have juries for a reason and they play an important part in our judicial system. We need to trust them to do their jobs to the best of their ability and not let a judge over rule that verdict.
But these are my thoughts, what are yours?