Judge declares mistrial in punishment phase of former SFA football player’s murder trial

Judge declares mistrial in punishment phase of former SFA football player’s murder trial
Pictured is David Temple, who was again convicted in the 1999 murder of his wife. (Source: Associated Press)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - A Harris County judge has declared a mistrial in the punishment phase of a former Stephen F. Austin State University football player’s second murder trial.

According to a story on KHOU.com, jurors in the David Mark Temple re-trial sent Judge Kelli Johnson a note that said, “Judge, two jurors won’t cooperate. What should we do?”

The KHOU story said that Johnson then brought the jurors back into the courtroom to read an Allen charge to them, which is used to try to break a deadlock. She told them that if they couldn’t agree on a verdict, Temple’s conviction would stand, but sentencing him would require a new trial.

According to the KHOU story, Temple’s sentence could have ranged from probation to life in prison. The next punishment phase will begin in March 2020.

An Associated Press stated that the jury convicted David Mark Temple of murder during his retrial.

David Temple used a shotgun to kill his wife. At the time of her death in January of 1999, Belinda Temple, a high school teacher, was seven months pregnant with the couple’s unborn baby girl, Erin, according to previous KTRE stories.

David Temple was convicted of killing Belinda Temple, his wife, in January of 1999.
David Temple was convicted of killing Belinda Temple, his wife, in January of 1999.

According to the Associated Press, a jury convicted David Temple of murder during his retrial. David Temple used a shotgun to kill his wife. At the time of her death in January of 1999, Belinda Temple, a high school teacher, was seven months pregnant with the couple’s unborn baby girl, Erin.

The AP story said another jury found David Temple guilty of the same charge in 2007. However, in 2016, the Court of Criminal Appeals overturned that conviction in 2016 because prosecutors withheld evidence.

A previous KTRE story stated that Harris County prosecutors accused David Temple of staging a burglary at the couple’s Houston home and killing his wife because he was having an affair. David Temple later married the woman he had been seeing.

Defense attorneys argued that Belinda Temple was killed by one of her students, a 16-year-old, the AP story stated.

David Temple’s lawyers appealed the verdict from his 2007 trial and the appeals court agreed with a state district judge who reviewed the case and cited repeated misconduct by the Harris County trial prosecutor. The appeals court said the prosecutor improperly withheld evidence from Temple’s attorneys and failed to timely disclose other evidence.

David Temple was released from prison after the Court of Criminal Appeals overturned his conviction.

At the time of David Temple’s initial arrest in 2004, investigators said the same gun powder found on his wife was also found on him. He was arrested and charged with murder.

The couple had ties to SFA. Dr. Ray Whorshom, a professor, said in a previous KTRE story that he remembered David and Belinda as a loving couple who worked hard for him as graduate assistants at the SFA kinesiology department.

David and Belinda Temple met as kinesiology majors. David Temple proposed to his future wife on the university's football field. They were married by his father in 1992, according to a previous story.

Belinda Temple grew up in Nacogdoches.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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