HOUSTON (Houston Chronicle) – After nine years in prison and 17 years after the murder of his pregnant wife, former Katy resident David Temple could be out of jail as early as this afternoon.
Temple’s release is the latest in a nearly 20-year saga that began when Belinda Temple was murdered in 1999. Temple was sentenced to life in prison in 2007, but in November the state’s highest criminal court overturned his conviction. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals found that Temple’s constitutional rights were violated because of the misconduct of legendary prosecutor Kelly Siegler, a skilled and dramatic trial prosecutor who later became the star of her own reality TV show.
Stan Schneider, Temple’s attorney, said Wednesday that Temple’s family is cautiously optimistic.
“They’re sort of in disbelief that this is actually happening,” Schneider said. “A retrial has been ordered, and everyone knows there’s a lot of work yet to be done, and a lot of things can happen. But they’re anxious to be reunited and to work towards his exoneration.”
Schneider said Temple is now “en route” to Harris County, where he’ll be processed and potentially freed by this afternoon. Schneider did not know when Temple would arrive in Houston, or when he left the Pack Unit jail in Navasota, Texas. He said he and Temple would address the media after Temple’s is out of custody.
Temple’s release is contingent on a $30,000 bail, the same amount set when he was originally charged with killing his wife in 2006.
Temple will appear back in court Jan. 4 for pre-trial hearings as his defense attorneys and prosecutors prepare to re-try his case.
Temple’s conviction was overturned in November after Texas’ criminal appeals court found that Harris County prosecutors deliberately withheld evidence and deprived the Katy man a fair trial in the 1999 death of his pregnant wife.