Temple Trial Postponed

February 2, 2006

Yup, that's the big news. Prosecutors have asked that the David Temple trial in Houston be postponed, in order to ensure that a key witness, a FBI analyst, is able to testify. The woman is pregnant and on a leave of absence.

No new trial date is set yet, but I'm hearing it may be late this year, perhaps October or November. My heart goes out to Belinda's family. It's heart wrenching to suffer the loss they have, but it must be doubly hard to endure the delays.

In the meantime, the Piper Rountree book, "Die, My Love," is completed and scheduled for publication in early 2007, and I'm considering two other Texas cases to work on this year. (It's terrible, but there's never a lack of sensational murder cases. I often think about how wonderful it would be to not have anything awful to write about.)

The first is an Austin case: Colton Pitonyak, a University of Texas student on trial for murdering a fellow student, Jennifer Cave, a beautiful young woman who had a bright future ahead of her. Pitonyak, who had a history of drug problems, then ran off to Mexico with a former girlfriend, Laura Hall. U.S. Marshal's officers tracked them to the town of Piedra Negras and made the arrest. The murder took place in August 2005.

The second murder took place in Sugar Land, Texas, southwest of Houston: It's the Bart Whitaker case. Bart, 26, is accused of convincing two other young men to murder his entire family, his brother, mother and father, for money, a $1 million inheritance. Bart's father, Kent, survived the attack.

Bart and his two hitmen are all charged with murder and face the death penalty. There's some evidence that Bart was hatching plots to murder his family as far back as 2000. The murders took place in December 2003, and a trial date is pending.

Kent Whitaker is against the ultimate penalty, saying that if prosecutors are successful, he'll lose the last living member of his family. Incredibly sad.

So, that's it for now. Thanks for being interested. I'll post updates on the website once I get started on the new book, so stop in and peruse once in a while.

Take care and stay safe!