DAVID TEMPLE: Judge declares mistrial during sentencing phase for former HS coach who killed wife

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The judge in the David Temple case declared a mistrial in the sentencing phase of the former Alief Hastings football coach who was found guilty of killing his wife Belinda.

On Friday morning, the jury foreman told the judge two jurors refused to budge on the sentencing.

"When two jurors are not willing to budge at all, there is nothing more we can do. It is best for all families involved and for society to give someone else a try," the jury's final note said.

Closing arguments in the sentencing phase were heard Wednesday. The jury deliberated all day Thursday and for several hours on Friday.

"Severe violence has already been done to most. We believe it is a total fluke, a one in a thousand chance that this group of jurors was assembled. We know the price a mistrial carries. We know it will put families through weeks of hell," the jury's note said.

Defense attorney, Stanley Schneider, asked the judge for bond, which she denied. A bond hearing is expected next week.

"The judge can deny bail, but he's afforded bail," Schneider said. "He's been found guilty of murder, but it's not a final conviction."

Crime Stoppers' Andy Kahan, an advocate for Belinda's family, said the family is disappointed but not giving up. He said they're also not pleased with the possibility of bond.

"You can't imagine a convicted murderer being released on bond. Hopefully, it won't happen now," Kahan said.

The new sentencing phase will bring a new jury to hear all the evidence again. They will not decide guilt or innocence, only Temple's sentence, which could be probation all the way up to life in prison. It will be the third time the family will hear the details of Belinda's grisly murder. She was eight months pregnant at the time she was shot and killed.

Prosecutor Lisa Tanner would not rule out filing for a change of venue away from Harris County.

"We're disappointed. We wanted a verdict. We wanted finality for the family," Tanner said.

Temple served nine years in prison after a 2007 conviction of killing Belinda. He was released and granted a new trial because it was found the prosecution withheld evidence.

Prosecutors said Temple wanted out of his marriage, so he killed his wife and staged a break-in. He was having an affair with a young teacher at the school where he coached football.

David and Heather continued their relationship after Belinda's murder, and eventually married. Heather Temple remained with David after he was found guilty of murder and spent a decade behind bars.

Schneider is already discussing potential appeals after sentencing, saying this case could still be ongoing for years to come.

"Right now, it's going to be a procedural quagmire. There was no evidence of a weapon," he said. "The timeline will have to be considered on appeal. That record has to be prepared. It's a quagmire for the appealate court."

TIMELINE OF DAVID TEMPLE TRIAL: Twists and turns from 1999 killing to 2019 verdict
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The murder of Belinda Temple: Timeline



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