David Temple is facing murder charges in the 1999 slaying of Belinda Temple

By Steve Helling
July 12, 2019 04:57 PM

Belinda Temple had just finished her day as a special-education teacher at Katy High School in Katy, Texas, on Jan. 11, 1999, and headed home to her family: husband David Temple, and 3-year-old son Evan, who had a fever.

Belinda, nearly eight months pregnant, stopped at her in-laws’ house to pick up some soup before going home. Within an hour she was dead — shot execution-style in her master bedroom closet. Although a cordless phone was found at her side, the 30-year-old didn’t have time to summon help for herself and her unborn daughter.

More than two decades later, her husband is facing a retrial in the murder case.

David Temple spent nine years in prison after a jury convicted him of murder in 2007. He appealed the case, and his conviction was overturned in 2016 due to prosecutorial misconduct. He was released on bond until his new trial began this week.

In court this week, both the prosecution and defense acknowledged that Temple had been sleeping with another woman — Heather Scott, a fellow teacher. He married her two years later.

“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 told jurors this week, saying that he wanted to kill his wife so he could be with his mistress.

But the defense disagrees.

“We’re going to go back in time,” David Temple’s attorney, Stanley Schneider, told jurors on Monday. “We’re going to hear a story of not one betrayal, but two betrayals.”

Schneider then said that, while David Temple betrayed his wife by having an affair, he was also betrayed by prosecutors who had “tunnel vision” and didn’t look into other possible killers.

The trial will likely get more explosive. Three days after the trial began, Heather Scott Temple filed for divorce, according to KPRC-TV. She is expected to testify for the prosecution as the trial continues.

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David Temple in 2004
Harris County Sheriff's office

The prosecution alleges that Temple made the murder look like a home invasion. Although the house had been ransacked, electronics and jewelry had not been taken.

But Temple’s attorneys point in another direction: One of Belinda’s students, who they say had a contentious relationship with the teacher. They point to other evidence, as well: Shortly after Belinda was killed, David and their son, Evan, were seen on surveillance video at a nearby grocery store.

“David Temple did not have time to commit murder,” Schneider said. “He could not have gotten home.”

The prosecution, however, believes that the surveillance video was a manufactured alibi for David, and that he had a sufficient window of time to kill his wife.

The trial is expected to last four weeks.

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