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The David Temple case

I have not followed this very closely, but it definitely deserves all the attention it has received.

Kelly Siegler

There’s a 1,300-page offense report detailing the investigation into the fatal shooting of Belinda Temple in 1999. There are audio tapes of witnesses who saw the pregnant teacher at Katy High School on the day she was killed later than previously thought. There’s a statement from a teenage neighbor that the Temples’ dog, known for its viciousness, would calm down after sniffing him.

Those are three examples of evidence withheld from David Temple’s defense lawyers that could have helped him at his 2007 trial, lawyers said Monday, as they called for a special prosecutor to investigate the notorious Katy slaying and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Their request comes days after a judge outlined 36 different instances of prosecutorial misconduct by former prosecutor Kelly Siegler and said Temple deserves a new trial.

“David is innocent. He has been convicted of a crime he did not commit,” David Temple’s brother, Darren, told reporters. “We are horrified by the voluminous suppressed evidence, the lies and the prosecutorial misconduct that has occurred over the last 10 years.”

Temple was convicted in 2007 of murder in the fatal shooting death of his wife, Belinda Lucas Temple.

[…]

With the ruling from state District Judge Larry Gist, Temple could get a new trial. The judge’s findings will be forwarded to the state’s highest criminal court to decide.

In the wake of that 19-page decision from Gist, Temple’s family called for District Attorney Devon Anderson to agree that Temple should be free on bail while the case winds its way through the appeals process. They also asked that Anderson reopen the murder case. Both requests were denied by the elected district attorney, who said her office disagrees with Gist’s ruling.

“The Court of Criminal Appeals will rule on the Temple case after a thorough review of the judge’s findings, and the objections filed by our office,” Anderson said in a prepared statement. “Any actions such as reopening an investigation into this case would be premature.”

In his ruling, Gist looked at several assertions by the defense, including that Temple was “actually innocent.” The judge found that he did not hear enough evidence during a 26-day hearing beginning in December to justify “actual innocence.”

He did agree that evidence that could have helped Temple was either delayed so much that it was not helpful or withheld completely.

On Monday, Temple’s attorneys said they will seek the appointment of a special prosecutor to reinvestigate the murder case and the prosecutors accused of withholding evidence and interfering with the appeals process.

“There’s a systemic problem in Harris County,” said Temple’s defense lawyer, Stanley Schneider. “Maybe it’s time for an attorney pro tem to be appointed.”

He blamed a “win at all costs” culture and said it permeated the office from 2002 to 2008 under former District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal.

Attorney Casie Gotro said prosecutors who are still at the office continue to “stonewall” defense efforts to look at all of the evidence.

“We’ve been repeatedly told that things ‘don’t exist’ only to find out later that they do,” Gotro said. “And without fail, they either benefit the defense theory or undermine the state’s theory.”

Here’s the written opinion by the judge in the habeas case, in which the court concluded “the defendant has shown he was denied a fair trial because of the state’s failure to disclose or timely disclose favorable evidence; and that had evidence been disclosed or disclosed timely, the results of the trial would have been different”. Both Lisa Falkenberg and the Chron editorial board have excoriated Siegler and sided with the call for a special prosecutor to take over. I think they’re right about that, and I think given DA Devon Anderson’s past history of being reluctant to act against someone with whom she is connected, she will need to be pressured about it. Kelly Siegler did the world a big favor by helping to expose rogue prosecutor Charles Sebesta, who was recently disbarred for activities similar in nature to the ones Siegler now stands accused of. Justice demands that someone like Kelly Siegler, with no connection to the Harris County DA’s office, now lead an investigation into her behavior in this trial. I respect Siegler’s work as a prosecutor and now as a crusading TV cold case investigator, but reputation only counts for so much. The facts need to be followed, and David Temple deserves his new day in court. Harris County needs to get out of the way. Let’s get going on this. Grits and Murray Newman, a friend and former colleague of Siegler’s, have more.

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29 Comments

  1. Steven Houston says:

    While I support a new trial given the totality of circumstances, judge Gist’s recommendation for such was based on a clown circus hearing of epic proportion. The judge even found that the defense’s contention of actual innocence was not justified but the suggestion by the defense that they were ineffective the first time sets off alarms no matter what the judge believed.

    And if you’re going to link to Murray’s blog coverage, he has covered this case in great detail a number of times, most recently shredding most of these “newfound” claims that have been around for years in his blog from last week: http://harriscountycriminaljustice.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-flip-side-of-david-temple-findings.html Still, the Court of Criminal Appeals had already dealt with some issues raised in this hearing, apparently Gist not agreeing with their findings, and rest of the circumstances going on behind the scenes (that Murray covers far better than many would like) make this more of a technical exercise than a quest for truth and justice based on “actual innocence”.

  2. Paul Kubosh says:

    “We’ve been repeatedly told that things ‘don’t exist’ only to find out later that they do,”

    Since you post Murray’s blog. Big Jolly has more on the subject:

    http://bigjollypolitics.com/kelly-siegler-jiggery-pokery-gang/

  3. Steven Houston says:

    PK, if one could remove the HUGE bias that lapdog Jolly and his best pal Hooper had over anything involved in local politics, it’d help the narrative here. As it stands, their blind devotion to former DA Lykos (Hooper’s wife best known as the ADA who pled the 5th in front of a grand jury over her personal involvement in legal shenanigans or how she’s being sued) and willingness to slant anything Siegler touched (Siegler having run against Lykos years back) so heavily making their input worthless. It was Lykos’ lead hatchman Leitner that moved heaven and earth to cater to Temple’s legal team for his personal benefit (circumventing all the usual policies and procedures) so take exception to Newman as you see fit, his coverage of “The gang that couldn’t shoot straight” was the best insider coverage by far, many local bloggers on both sides of the political aisle writing supporting pieces as well.

  4. Paul Kubosh says:

    If it wasn’t for the staged lynching of Hoopers wife by Ted Olberg, Susan Brown, and Mr. Anderson then Lykos would still be D.A. As to his wife you are quoting Ted and his media clips. As to Hoopers wife check the filings she is doing very well in court.

    As far as Leitner is concerned he would be my choice for D.A. so thats what I think of him.

    As to Jolly what is the huge Bias as to which you refer?

  5. Steven Houston says:

    PK, that Lykos paid a settlement on the matter and clearly retaliated against the whistle blowers should forever taint her and her immediate core of minions that contributed to everything that took place under her reign. So as gentlemen, we’ll have to agree to disagree on those ilk though I don’t think Rachel is doing as well as you seem to think (unless something has changed in the last couple of days).

    Jolly was the Baghdad Bob of the group who ran off a cliff with them routinely, remaining close enough that he still lets Hooper spew propaganda on his website regularly. Anything related to Siegler was “bad”, anything about Lykos and her minions was “good” to the point where his blog is best for entertainment purposes only.

  6. Paul Kubosh says:

    Lykos doesn’t have authority to settle anything. We will see who wins the day I am a big Rachal Hooper fan and yes we will agree to disagree.

    On a more personal note. One last thing when I clerked for the D.A.’s office in the early 90’s in Court #12 I was not impressed with the D.A.’s office at that time. It would seem there was way to many happy hours, affairs, divorces and sex tapes. All of this behavior seemed to be condoned in the Fraternity\Sorority atmosphere. What bothered me more was that no one cared. (Mind you I am not a saint nor do I claim to be)

    Speaking of the old D.A.’s office I would have happily traded the sodomy law in texas for a civil action for adultery along with Punitive damages if the adultery was committed while the adults had children. Heck, I would also have traded Gay Marriage for such action against adultery.

  7. Steven Houston says:

    PK, fair enough (except that Lykos most certainly had the ability to settle her role in the matter and did so for a fair sum of money).

    As far as the sexual mores of the local DA’s office then or now, they really don’t concern me. I don’t consider it any of my business regarding what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home, hotel room, or what have you. I care more about what they are doing while engaged in county business though frankly I’ve met an awful lot of lawyers (and those in related fields) that I definitely believed would be better people if they got laid a little more often.

  8. Paul Kubosh says:

    That is my point. I can only speak to then. How can you prosecute people on sex crimes, alcohol crimes and drug crimes if you are making sex tapes, driving drunk, and using drugs. For God’s sakes man we were trying to elect a D.A. who made a sex tape. There are no more consequences for actions anymore.

    Its all about being consenting adults, marijuana, dwi, adultery, c’s in college, leaving someone in a car when it goes off of a bridge. To think what you do doesn’t ever affect other people is like the three monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil) Hell all that means is that you are now qualified to be a president or at least a senator in Mass.

    As you can see clearly I am a dinosaur.

  9. Paul Kubosh says:

    Steven,

    Surely you are not saying that affairs are o.k., right?

  10. Steven Houston says:

    PK, in your previous post, you said nothing about illegal drug use or DWI’s, drinking still legal in Texas and affairs so common that a certain old book mentions them a whole lot. Otherwise, I was led to believe that few, if any sex “crimes” between consenting adults were vigorously prosecuted locally (other than the “for hire” type which you made no mention of above either). But it’s not illegal to make a sex tape between consenting adults, Paris Hilton is currently worth billions thanks to hers just as Kim Kardashian has profited nicely from hers, though I’m sure no one would want to watch one starring you or I.

    The leap in logic to then include things as wide ranging as Chappaquidick (sp?) to having the audacity to get a “C” in college (which is as likely to come from someone unwilling to try and learn something outside of their comfort zone) or feeling the need to engage in illegal mood enhancers for lack of a personality (I’m all for legalization and I’ve never been high or drunk), seems a reach. Morals cut both ways and given some of the comments by self righteous politicians clearly pandering (too many to mention) to the right wingers and tea party enthusiasts, I’m not nearly as sure as you are of how much better off we’d collectively be installing pillars of virtue in positions of leadership.

    But as one dinosaur to another, and one that has been just as loyal to my significant others over the years, I freely admit that I’m uncomfortable with those that cheat on their spouses unless that is something they are in agreement with (then it’s not “cheating”). Not many seem to care though, even locally, or various high ranking officials would have never been appointed to higher office, certain previous candidates for the DA’s office would have been outted for co-owning swap clubs, and all sorts of other activities truncated based on a morals clause or two (both in private and public sector organizations). If great leadership skills were tied to such morality, that’d be great but in my experience, those open about libertine pastimes tend to be far, far more effective leaders and probably less likely to let it be used to sway their influence than those who preach one thing and practice another.

  11. Paul Kubosh says:

    If their had been a piss test required at the d.a.’s office it would have been brutal (in my opinion).

    What do you think happens at happy hour? There are rampant D.W.I.’s just because they are not caught doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. As to the Drugs I still remember one blond haired felony d.a. getting busted for cocaine possession. Maybe she was the only one? As to sex tapes I don’t think they would get millions for the ones they made. Using Kim K. as an example kind of makes my point. If Kim K. did it then that means it is o.k. sigh…..

    I am all against those who practice one thing and preach another however it doesn’t mean by default I have to will follow those other leaders. My point I am trying to make is this. We are becoming a society that doesn’t require personal accountability and we are O.K. with it. I am just tired of hearing the people beat that drum as their chorus roars louder and louder.

    Steven, I will leave you with these two links. (Apparently only you and I care about this stuff)

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+29%3A2&version=KJV

    and from STYX

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXf2PbEPQ-Y

    Have a good evening.

  12. joshua ben bullard says:

    no comment.

  13. Steven Houston says:

    PK, unless they were operating heavy machinery or other dangerous gear, what benefit would random drug testing to ADA’s do to make us collectively safer? As far as the relative dangers of various controlled substances in an office or court setting, it’s not high on my list (no pun intended) of things to worry about compared to truck drivers, machine shop operators, or others in a position where impairment could equal severe consequences. As far as speculating how many ADA’s have broken one law or another, I literally have no idea other than to adhere to the Osmonds song “One Bad Apple” from years ago. But neither Kardashian nor Hilton made very much from those sex tapes directly, other than to gain notoriety among the unwashed masses, most people still smart enough to avoid that trap altogether.

    So it’s great to find people who believe in personal responsibility and having to live with the choices they made or whose morality is superior (I promise not to bring up sleazy politicians using liberal interpretations of residency requirements for the purpose of this discussion) when so many take the path of convenience over doing the right thing but ultimately, we’re a mixed society whose blend of different ideas means compromise is a given to get anything done whether we like it or not. Having stood in front of certain local politicians who tout their God card a little too hard when they’ve confided in me about things I really did not want to know that make me look like a saint, that drum beat of moral outrage they espouse is no less deafening than the ones you rail about.

    I’m not a thumper by any means, just a reasonably moral guy who tries to do the right thing, but in response to your quote, perhaps one might refresh their memory of John 8:1: “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone”.

  14. Don Hooper says:

    Pat Lykos paid no one in any kind of settlement. The only thing she did was to let Amanda Culbertson out of the suit and not pay Lykos’s legal fees. You’re right about it being a lot of money.

    Now we go back to court to find out why a civil servant had 250,000 dollars hidden in a safe in her home. Chip Lewis fled Hughes’s court like a school girl right before he was hit with a SLAPP motion awarding Rachel all her legal fees. Amanda Culberson has been crushed in court and this will continue, right after she answers some questions.

  15. Paul Kubosh says:

    Steven, Please your veiled shout out at Mike is obvious. (he isn’t a saint and I don’t claim that he is) Why hide it? It is clear to me that you don’t believe that the D.A.’s office should be free drug free, not commit d.w.i.’s, and the adultery (i.e. interoffice affairs are a. o.k.). You are free to believe as you wish. Embrace the freedom of no responsibility you have earned that right as to do all Americans.

    I agree with completely with your statement of John 8:1 If only the LEFT and the RIGHT practiced it.

    Next time you want to call out Mike just do it. Kuffner isn’t afraid to do it neither should you.

  16. Steven Houston says:

    PK, we have discussed residency issues here a number of times in the past, including Mike’s, so that is old territory and not veiled in the slightest. Even with as loose a set of guidelines as we have, it goes to the same kind of morality stance you’re taking on other issues. Following the letter of the law or skirting it for personal gain.

    Otherwise, I said no such thing regarding drug use, only that it wasn’t a major concern of mine and given the cost of enforcement versus the actual public benefits, I’d rather we legalize most drugs while enhancing the punishment for crimes committed under the influence. You surmise that one or two ADA’s using drugs decades ago translates into a wanton sort of lawlessness even though they were sanctioned more than most would be (the criminal aspects on top of being fired). ADA’s caught driving drunk have been fired in the past as well but again, I have zero interest in what consenting adults do in their beds. I know old law says they should be stoned to death but even back then, if that practice was followed, there would be a heck of a lot less people around today (and if you claim the thumpers don’t do it, I can assure you that they are some of the very best from personal experience).

    As someone who served in the military to actually fight for those freedoms, not just my secular beliefs either, I’d be lying if I said I would have volunteered to serve only to protect a very narrow set of beliefs but yes, there are certain benefits to both political parties being more civil even if I see plenty of stones coming from both sides all the time. So while I applaud your personal morality, demanding others follow it is wishful thinking, history replete with examples of right wing “heroes” that would not make the cut (and the left too, if that matters).

  17. Paul Kubosh says:

    Did I touch a thorny issue? Seems like you are mad? How do I know you actually served in the military? You can make any claim you want to about all the things you have done in the past how do I know its true?

    I am through talking about my opinion of the D.A.’s office many years ago. You have made my point for me. You can agree or disagree.

    As to your stance on FREE LOVE.

    Lets face it when two

    CONSENTING ADULTS ARE MARRIED AND HAVE CHILDREN

    and they chose to

    CHEAT ON THEIR SPOUSE

    it is no longer about

    CONSENTING ADULTS

    it is about their spouses and their children.

    Blow that away all you want, call it preaching all you want, call it right wing b.s. all you want. The fact is that their consequences to what those

    TWO CONSENTING ADULTS DO IN BED

    it hurts other people. I know I am in the minority on this position. (I do not claim to be a saint). Its about being a man. Black or White, yes or no. We are where we are at life because of decisions we make. As a man you have to own those decisions.

    Well one thing for sure you claim to be a dinosaur but if you are then you evolved to make it past the asteroid thing.

    🙂

  18. Don Hooper says:

    Steve Houston,
    What did you think about all those police officers who pled the 5th in the investigation over the HPOU union funds? Some lost their jobs others went to jail, and some were sentenced to 20 years in prison.
    Just curious about your thoughts on one in particular who left right before retirement.

  19. Steven Houston says:

    PK, I’m not mad at all. Email me and we can hook up for lunch near your primary residence sometime where I’ll be able to show you whatever documentation you desire regarding my service. Heck, I still (sort of) fit into my old PT shirt so I’ll wear that too if you like though it could take time to dig up my old DD-214…lol.

    Adultery: For the purposes of discussion, it might make sense to expect you to outline the totality of circumstances rather than have you add a component each post (ie: not all married couples have children, your new addition to the discussion of children another reach). Every study I’ve read shows high rates of divorce and higher rates of sexual infidelity but that doesn’t preclude the possibility that at least some married partners agree to outside trysts (“hall Pass”, “hot wifing”, “swinging”, etc). When I use the term “consenting adults”, I’m typically also referring to the married couple, not just the outside partners; what agreements they have with regard to their union is not my business, nor anyone else’s.

    So evolution is not such a bad thing. It has not impacted my personal beliefs for how I conduct myself and I don’t use it as a preliminary gate keeper for who I try to elect for office (I remember the hand wringing from the extreme Right about electing Reagan, a man so immoral that he dared divorce, or Bush’s drug use); best person for the job works for me. 😉

  20. Steven Houston says:

    DH, as I understand it from media accounts, the ringleader of that sorted affair is already out of prison courtesy of a system that fills prisons with mentally ill or those incarcerated for low level drug possession. When they pled the 5th, they looked just as guilty as your wife did; public servants on public time refusing to respond to a grand jury should be fired.

  21. Don Hooper says:

    Hmmm, why do you think Mike Anderson or Devon never fired Rachel? They obviously did not hold your opinion? I will assure you they were given every opportunity to do so.

  22. Don Hooper says:

    Steve,
    If you really believe that I wouldn’t vote for Devon. You should ask Devon to stop using the BAT vans too. It is making Amanda look real bad in court. This of course won’t help much because Amanda quit working for HPD and went to work for Lone Star college. See they were doing work for the county. Unfortunately, the Sheriffs department had the same BAT van. We are curious to see what Amanda has to say about the 250,000 in cash in her home too. Stay tuned.

  23. Paul Kubosh says:

    Steven,

    In the end I am forced to agree with you. Best person for the job works for me also even if it is by default. I am done until next weekend.

  24. Steven Houston says:

    PK, I’m just being pragmatic. My offer for lunch at say, Gringos or such, remains open where we can discuss all sorts of things about some of your pals if you like. 😉

    DH, I doubt DA Anderson would care about what a generic person like me would say compared to a big bad energy trader whose political acumen is legendary in his own mind. The initial BAT van problems were likely overstated but despite the best efforts of the former DA and her minions you adore so much, defense counsel had a right to know of any problems. I’ve been assured such problems have been taken care of but it doesn’t lessen the need for transparency, those who mistreat whistle blowers and their supporters typically the kind of thumper that good guys like PK would walk away from.

  25. Don Hooper says:

    Steve,
    Whoever told you Pat Lykos paid a dime to anyone is not truthful. Personally, I think you are making it all up, which is of course why you do not use a real name. It’s hard to tell defense counsel about problems that don’t exist or never did. There has never been anything corrected in any BAT ban based on any allegation made by Amanda Culbertson.

    You have been assured by whom? You are just making stuff up.

  26. Steven Houston says:

    DH, so you claim, just like you claim a whole lot of things that no one believes. I’m satisfied that most people looking into the whole BAT affair acknowledge that there WERE some issues with them, that some people in the DA’s office were told about them such as your wife, yet decided to take their sweet time letting counsel know. I’m further satisfied that the city police did look into the issue regardless of who brought it to their attention, and made appropriate adjustments to the equipment. Here’s something to refresh your clearly faulty memory:

    http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/More-BAT-van-cases-questioned-2160150.php

    Note the part where the article says: “HPD officials have acknowledged there have been problems, including air conditioning, in the BAT vans since they were purchased in 2008…”. That the further claim is said problems did not impact specific cases does not remove the responsibility for disclosing equipment problems for all the usual reasons so feel free to go back to your imaginary energy trading. lol

  27. Don Hooper says:

    Steve,
    You need to go back to your imaginary world of Steve. You know nothing of the facts and are spewing non-sense. Watch what happens next to Amanda, the Morons, and Kelly Siegler. You shouldn’t hide behind Anonmous post, it’s kind of like Murray’s blog.

  28. Steven Houston says:

    DH, as you are now just being abusive and adding nothing of substance (I know folks, nothing new from him), I’ll take my leave of the thread. Just keep in mind that every time you open your mouth or write something nasty online, it further harms Rachel’s political aspirations and those you claim to support. Good luck!

  29. Don Hooper says:

    Bye!