48 Hours Mystery: The Guessing Game

A Coach's Pregnant Wife Is Murdered And Two Legal Titans Battle To Solve The Twisted Tale

The Guessing Game 42:34

This story first aired on Dec. 6, 2008. It was updated on Feb. 20, 2010.

In January 1999, Belinda Temple, the pregnant wife of a popular high school football coach, was found murdered inside a closet of the family's home.

Police soon suspected David Temple had something to do with the murder, but had no physical evidence to tie him to it. But after years of piecing circumstantial evidence together, police arrested him.

What would follow was a courtroom clash of legal titans, with a hard-charging prosecutor on one side, and a legendary defense attorney on the other.

Did David really murder his expecting wife, as the prosecutor charges, or is he innocent and unjustly accused.

Even while he called 911 for help, David knew his wife had no chance - she had taken a shotgun blast to her head. There was also no hope for the baby that Belinda Temple was just weeks from delivering.

David and his three and a half year old son, Evan, were now alone.

Asked how he broke the news to Evan, David tells correspondent Richard Schlesinger, "I told him the next day. You just lay down in the bed with him and told him that some madman had broken into the house and momma's heart stopped and she's gone to be with Jesus and she won't be with us any more."

Suddenly a single parent, David turned to his parents, moving into their home, and finding comfort in good memories.

The Temple family was well respected in Katy, a Texas town near Houston. David was a gifted athlete and became a star defensive linebacker for Katy High School. He was a force to be dealt with when he played.

David won a football scholarship to Stephen F. Austin State University, and on the field became known as "The Temple of Doom," thanks to his imposing stature.

But off the field he was a bit of a romantic, especially when it came to an attractive physical education major named Belinda Lucas.

Before long, David asked Belinda's parents, Tom and Carol Lucas, for her hand. With her parents' blessing, David proposed to Belinda in the most sentimental setting he could imagine. "So we walked down and got went out on the field I took her down to the 50 yard line. And got down on my knee and told her how much I loved her and asked her if she'd marry me," he remembers.

They married and both ended up working with children. Belinda taught special ed at Katy High, where her husband had ruled on the football field.

Debbie Berger, who taught in the same classroom, was a close friend. "You could tell in her voice, very direct, but yet very loving and warm."

David landed a job in a nearby town, teaching and coaching alongside Wade Luker, who had coached a rival team when David was in high school.

By all accounts, David and Belinda were devoted to their son, and by January 1999, the birth of their daughter was just one month away. "January 10th, we were a happy threesome as anybody in the country. Being at the zoo. Her fryin' chicken for me, which is my favorite meal, when we got home. That weekend was perfect," David remembers.

It was also the last weekend of Belinda's life. On Monday, Jan. 11, just like every day, Evan was in daycare while his parents were at work. But he was sent home early that day with a fever. David came home to watch him.

When Belinda returned around 4 p.m., David says she went upstairs to rest. David took Evan out to play. "We went to the park in our neighborhood, which we spent a lot of time at. He loved to go to the park," he remembers.

After that, he says, they made their trip to the grocery store and then to the Home Depot, never imagining what awaited them at home. When they got back, David says he saw the back door broken, dropped Evan off at a neighbor's, then ran up the stairs, where he found Belinda's body sprawled on the floor of the bedroom closet.

Crime scene investigator Dean Holtke was surprised that a burglar would be so violent. "How many burglars do you think walk around carrying a shotgun? In broad daylight?"

Holtke followed standard procedure, and asked to test David's hands for gunshot residue. He says he explained to David for what it was for and that he didn't resist.

David also agreed to go with the police to give a statement. Asked what was going through his mind at that moment, David says, "Totally shocked. Sometimes it feels like an eternity and sometimes it feels like it went really quick. I could remember having trouble just walkin' out to the cruiser. To even make your legs move."

Belinda's parents remember getting the phone call. "I dropped to my knees," her father Tom remembers. "I not only lost my daughter, I lost a granddaughter that I'm sure was beautiful as her mama. And I never got to see."

This was no ordinary crime scene. It affected even veteran homicide detective Tracy Shipley. "It was one of the few cases we have where you have a completely innocent victim. She had lived a low risk lifestyle. She was a teacher. She was a mother. She was a wife. She didn't have any bad habits, and to find her dead in her house was very heartbreaking."

In the following days, Detective Shipley began canvassing the neighbors. But police would soon learn that one young neighbor lied about his whereabouts that day, and he had had a run-in with Belinda before.