HARRIS COUNTY (Covering Katy News) – Former Katy resident and murder defendant David Temple has something new to be concerned about, his second wife has filed for divorce while his murder retrial is underway. Now, a legal expert says the divorce filing could allow Heather Temple to speak more freely if she’s called to testify against David.
David Temple is accused in the 1999 murder of his pregnant wife. His original murder conviction was dismissed due to prosecutorial misconduct. The murder happened at the couple’s Katy home. Temple was also a standout football player while attending Katy High School.
At the time of the murder, David was having an affair with his girlfriend Heather. Prosecutors say he murdered his wife so he could be with Heather. Heather and David were married less than two years after Belinda was shot to death.
Heather Temple is on the prosecution’s witness list. With the divorce filing, the question becomes what could she reveal at the retrial that she could not previously reveal.
“There’s a marital privilege like there’s an attorney-client or priest-penitent privilege,” Attorney Gerald Treece told KHOU Channel 11.
Privilege means that the wife, Heather, does not have to testify against her husband. Being divorced does not change that privilege according to Treece.
“The privilege survives a divorce,” Treece told KHOU.
But, the privilege does not include the time before the couple was married, when David was having an affair with Heather, until the point at which they were married.
“The privilege doesn’t attach to the communications you make to a girlfriend,” said Treece.
David Temple’s attorney is not commenting, and neither is the attorney who represents Heather.
The public may not learn how the divorce filing will impact the David Temple’s retrial until, or unless the prosecution calls Heather to the stand to testify. The timing of the filing certainly has people wondering if she has something to say.