HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — A man convicted of killing his pregnant wife more than four years ago will finally learn his fate.
On Aug. 6, 2019, a jury convicted David Temple for a second time for the murder of Belinda Lucas Temple. Until Monday, he was still waiting to be sentenced. His sentencing had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s one of many cases that was impacted by the pandemic. The Supreme Court of Texas, in 2020, extended the time before regular trials could resume.
“When the jury came back, we felt an overwhelming relief," said Andy Kahan, Director of Victims Services for Crime Stoppers in 2020. “We were then submarined when the jury couldn’t decide on punishment."
Temple requested a third trial after a jury was unable to agree on his punishment in his second trial and a change of venue. Temple's sentence could have ranged from probation to life in prison, but jurors weren't able to agree, forcing a judge to declare a mistrial in the punishment phase.
Despite the outcome, both requests for a third trial and a change of venue were denied.
The punishment phase was supposed to happen in March 2020, but at the time, there were about 39,000 active criminal cases pending in Harris County District Courts.
The delay came to an end Monday. The court began picking the jury who will soon decide how long Temple will spend behind bars.
Belinda was 8 months pregnant when she was shot and killed in the couple's Katy home in 1999. She died from a shotgun blast to the back of her head.
Prosecutors said Temple wanted his wife dead because he was having an affair.
Less than two years after his wife's murder, Temple married his mistress Heather Scott. Scott filed for divorce after Temple's second murder trial began on July 8.
Temple was originally convicted of murder in 2007 and served nine years in prison before a judge tossed out his conviction. The judge said prosecutor Kelly Siegler withheld favorable evidence from the defense.