SHATTERED: THE DAVID TEMPLE CASE
When they dated at Steven F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas, back in the late eighties, Belinda Lucas and David Temple were considered the golden couple. David was handsome and talented, a gifted football player, so outstanding the university featured him on the annual football program's cover.
Yet even standing beside a campus star, Belinda Lucas held her own. Beautiful and bright, with a trim, athletic figure, Belinda had a high-wattage smile, the kind that lit up a room. High-energy, she was full of ideas and determination. From a middle class family with five children, including a twin sister, Brenda, Belinda worked three jobs to pay for college. Few met Belinda who didn't adore her. Many thought of her as a friend.
At SFA, both Belinda and David majored in kinesiology and planned to coach and teach. Before they'd fallen in love, David had his wild times, but Belinda settled him down, and he proposed to her on the field of combat, in a way befitting a knight. At a football game, in front of his parents and the world, David Temple dropped on one knee on the center of the field and asked Belinda Lucas to marry him.
At their wedding, they radiated love. Certainly such a storybook beginning could only lead to a lifetime of happiness. At first, all seemed well. Belinda and David earned their bachelors, then masters degrees, and lived their dreams, becoming popular teachers and coaches. Their son, Evan, a healthy, fun-loving bundle of energy, arrived and became the center of their lives. They were good parents, caring and dedicated.
Then, one horrible afternoon in January 1999, David called 911, saying he'd just returned to their Katy, Texas, home and found Belinda, eight-months-pregnant with their daughter, Erin, dead in the closet. Someone had shattered the glass on the back door. Presumably that same person was the one who put a 12-gauge shotgun up to Belinda's head and pulled the trigger, literally shattering her skull.
Early on, police suspected David was the murderer. They saw clues all around them: a staged robbery, a pattern of glass shards that suggested the back door was already open when the window was broken. Then detectives discovered David was having an affair with an attractive, blond English teacher, Heather Scott. Still, police had nothing concrete against David, and he had an alibi. At the time of the murder, he said he'd been shopping and at the park with three-year-old Evan. Security cameras at a Home Depot and a grocery store appeared to back David up.
For eight years after Belinda's murder, David went on with his life. He married Heather and they formed a new family, making friends, bringing up Evan, going to church on Sundays and continuing their teaching careers. Then in 2004, new forensic evidence emerged and David Temple was charged with Belinda's murder. In October 2007, nearly nine years after Belinda's horrific murder, David Temple went on trial in a Houston courtroom. He was represented by Dick DeGuerin, one of Texas's finest defense lawyers. The prosecutor, Kelly Siegler, also ranks among the Lone Star State's very best.
The evidence presented in the courtroom was circumstantial, bits and pieces, yet it formed a picture. When the guilty verdict came in, David Temple was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
SHATTERED pieces together this heart-breaking case, of a mother and baby murdered.