In 1990, the small city of Katy, Tex. was rocked by murder. Belinda Temple, who was just a few weeks from giving birth to her second child, was shot dead in her home. Her husband and young son discovered her body, which lie in the couple's bedroom. The idea of a murderer being on the loose in the sleepy town had its residents living in extreme fear. But that was only the beginning of the story.
As more details of the crime and of Belinda Temple's last living day emerged, it soon became clear that things were far more complicated than law enforcement could have fathomed. The case will be covered on the Nov. 1 episode of ABC's 20/20 and the recent developments in the case mean that a convicted murderer might soon walk free.
The Belinda Temple murder and subsequent trial are filled with incredible twists and turns. Read on to find out what happened in this tragic case.
The tragedy that was the Belinda Temple murder:
On Jan. 11, 1999, David Temple called the police saying that he had returned from errands with his 3-year-old son, Evan, only to discover that Belinda Temple was dead. He claimed that the couple's back door had been broken into, and the gate to their backyard was open.
David Temple soon dropped his son off at a nearby neighbor's house to further investigate what was going on. His wife was lying face down on the floor of the couple's master closet. She was dead from a gunshot wound (from a shotgun) to the back of her head. She was eight months pregnant with a daughter that the couple planned to name Erin.
How did David Temple and his wife meet?
David Temple was a well-known name in Katy, Tex. He was a former high school football star, and, interestingly, the actress Renee Zellweger was even a cheerleader for his team.
The couple's love story began in 1989 at Stephen F. Austin University and it was like a classic romantic comedy cliche. David Temple was a linebacker on the college's football team, earning him the nickname "Temple of Doom."
Belinda Temple also was an athlete at the school, and the two soon bonded over sports. Within a year of dating, the couple got engaged after David Temple proposed on the football field.
The two further cemented their commonalities by getting master's degrees in education. Belinda Temple gave birth to Evan in 1995 and the couple decided to raise their family in her husband's hometown of Katy. The couple announced that they were expecting again in the summer of 1998.
The first strange incident on the day of the murder involved Evan Temple's daycare.
Belinda Temple was working as a special education teacher at Katy High School, where her husband had attended years earlier, when Evan's daycare called her. They said that Evan was sick and needed to be picked up. Unable to leave work, Belinda Temple called her husband, hoping that he could pick their son up (he was working as a teacher and football coach at another high school at the time).
She wasn't able to reach him, and he only began responding to her phone calls a few hours later. Belinda Temple was apparently very frustrated at her husband, and she wasn't sure why he was absent from work. She brought Evan home, and went back to work once her husband arrived.
Though Evan was sick, David Temple said that he took his son out to do some errands later that afternoon, leaving his wife at home alone. Several hours later, she was dead.
The Texas Love Triangle that turned the investigation on its head.
Upon first examination, the crime scene looked like a burglary gone wrong. The signs of forced entry led investigators to initially think that someone intended on robbing the house, but was interrupted by Belinda Temple's unexpected presence. But authorities later began to suspect that the crime scene was staged. Nothing of value was missing from the home, and Belinda Temple was found in the master closet.
But, surveillance video from cameras in Katy caught David Temple running the errands he said he was doing during the time of the murder. It appeared like he wasn't involved.
However, after speaking with friends of the family, it was soon discovered that the couple didn't have a happy marriage. David Temple was cheating on his wife, and it was clear to Belinda Temple's friends that he was incredibly controlling over her. But does a cheater make a murderer?
David Temple's mistress was revealed to be Heather Scott. Their relationship had gotten way more serious in the weeks leading up to the murders. Within two years of his wife's murder, David married Heather. By 2004, he was arrested for his wife's murder after gunshot residue on her clothes matched the residue on his own clothes.
David Temple was convicted of first degree murder in 2007, while Heather Temple raised Evan. David Temple was granted a new trial in 2016 after someone claimed they heard the couple's neighbor confess to being the murderer. He was convicted again following the next trial.
The jury couldn't settle on a sentence, however, leading the judge to declare a mistrial. He will go on trial again in March of 2020, but he remains incarcerated.