Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Finding 37 and the David Temple Rebuttal

Yesterday afternoon, the Harris County District Attorney's Office filed a response to Judge Larry Gist's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law on the David Temple case.  The document, entitled Respondent's/State's Objections to the Habeas Court's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, is 80 pages long.

The lengthy response painstakingly addresses each and every one of Gist's findings and rebuts his findings that prosecutor Kelly Siegler withheld exculpatory Brady information during Temple's 2007 trial.  Unlike Gist's findings from the Habeas hearing, the response actually cites the record (both from the original trial and the hearing) in dismantling the findings.

Additionally, the response brings to light a disturbing irregularity that casts even more doubt on Gist's findings -- more on that in a moment.

As those following the Temple case know, Judge Gist's findings listed 36 findings (remember that number, it will become important shortly) in recommending relief for David Temple.  Some of those findings dealt with allegations of Brady violations and the Response addresses them all.

Here are some of the highlights.  I highly encourage anyone interested in the case to read the Response for themselves.

Finding # 9-  that Kelly Siegler never turned over an FBI report to Dick DeGuerin during the trial.
   Apparently, the animosity between DeGuerin and Siegler was so intense that Dick taped all phone calls between him and Kelly and then had transcripts made.  That would prove to be his undoing when (despite his claims) one of these transcripts had Siegler informing DeGuerin (two years prior to the Temple trial) of the report and telling him he could review it whenever he liked.
   This was all produced during the habeas hearing and why Judge Gist would make this finding inexplicably contradicts the record. [p. 4-5]

Finding # 31 - that Kelly Siegler failed to turn over a Harris County bulletin that stated that the murder of Belinda Temple occurred between 4:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
   The transcripts of the trial are very clear that the exact time of Belinda Temple's murder was never firmly established and that the time estimate on said bulletin was just a preliminary guess. [p. 8-10]

Findings # 3 & 10 - that Kelly Siegler withheld the statements of alternative suspect Riley Joe Sanders.
   This particular response is long and detailed.  Again, I would encourage the reader to look at the response itself.  The bottom line is that the record is very clear that DeGuerin was made aware of Riley Joe Sanders and the Defense team tried very hard to portray him as the true murderer of Belinda Temple.   DeGuerin acknowledged that he was aware of Sanders two years prior to the trial.
   Sanders gave five oral statements and two written statements.  On pages 11 & 12, the response has a chart, illustrating the discrepancies (if any) between the seven statements.  The response acknowledges that the Defense was not made aware of the contents of two of those statements, but notes that there was nothing exculpatory in them, nor anything inconsistent with the other five statements.

Findings # 8 &17 - that Kelly Siegler failed to turn over the written statements of several witnesses related to the alternate suspect, Riley Joe Sanders.
  This particular portion of the findings argues that none of these statements were exculpatory -- to the contrary, they actually corroborated the written statements of Riley Joe Sanders.  [p. 24]

Finding # 21 - that Kelly Siegler misrepresented the name of [witness] Carlos Corro as "Carlos Gutierrez."
  This is perhaps one of the most amusingly erroneous findings by Judge Gist.  As noted on p. 40-41, it was actually Dick DeGuerin who bungled the name here.  During a hearing outside the presence of the jury, he was the one who began referring to Corro as Gutierrez.

NOTE:  At this point, one starts to wonder whether or not Gist was paying attention to the evidence being presented to him.

Finding # 27 -  that Kelly Siegler did not reveal that the Temple family dog, Shaka, had access to the garage of the home from the back yard.
  This is my favorite finding.  This finding basically says that Siegler withheld the layout of David Temple's garage from David Temple.   There's more to it than that, obviously, but it is a silly assertion.  Yet again, I encourage you to read the findings for yourself.

Findings # 1, 4, 6, 11, 12 & 13 -- that Kelly Siegler failed to properly disclose information regarding numerous shotguns that could have potentially been used as the murder weapon.
  This is a very key point in the Repsonse [p. 48] as it deals with multiple weapons that could potentially be linked to Riley Joe Sanders and any other "alternate suspect."  In pages 50 - 54, each firearm is addressed, along with a citation that illustrates that defense counsel was made aware of each weapon either before or during the trial.

As I said earlier, this is not a comprehensive list by any means, but it does show some of the highlights and citations.  A more thorough reading of the response will show more examples of Judge Gist making strange findings in light of the evidence.  Why Judge Gist would make these findings is hard to understand.  However, an event that occurred after the close of evidence and after Judge Gist released his findings may shed some light on the topic.

Beginning on page 69 of the Repsonse:
"On August 20, 2015, habeas counsel Stan Schneider and Casey Gotrow [sic] sent an email to Judge Gist -- the habeas court for the purpose of the writ proceedings -- and asked him to consider entering amended findings and conclusions of law.
"On August 21, 2015, the habeas court replied to the email stating, 'I will review the submittal and advise all parties whether or not I will grant the defendant's request over the State's objection.  However, I will not add additional fact findings.
"On September 2, 2015, the habeas court filed amended Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and the habeas court's cover letter stated, 'This is identical to the original filed in the Court with the addition of citations to the record regarding each finding.'
"However, a review of the amended Findings of Fact show the addition of a new finding - no. 37.   On September 4, 2015, the State emailed both habeas counsel and the habeas court asking about the addition of finding no. 37 in light of habeas court's statement that the court would not add additional findings and that the habeas court was filing amended findings that were identical to those formerly filed -- findings that were numbered 1 through 36 and did not include finding no. 37.
"On September 8, 2015, the habeas court sent a letter to the Court of Criminal Appeals stating that the habeas court, i.e. Judge Gist, 'never made finding No. 37 and do not make such a finding now.'  The habeas court further requested that the Court of Criminal Appeals 'please delete finding No. 37 from the document recently sent to you.'"
So, what does that mean exactly?

It means that Stan Schneider and Casie Gotro told Judge Gist that they would like an additional finding put in his Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.  Judge Gist told them "no."  Yet, somehow, an additional finding was added anyway.  When brought to Gist's attention, he stated that he didn't author that finding and he demanded it be removed.

So who authored it?  Well, that would obviously be Team Temple -- Schneider and Gotro.  Despite Judge Gist saying he would entertain no additional findings, they wrote it anyway and submitted it on his behalf, apparently.

That's a pretty damn brazen move to make.

More importantly, it calls into question how much attention was Judge Gist paying to the testimony he was hearing during the habeas hearing.  His first set of findings had no citations to the record.  Most (if not all) of his findings are directly contradicted by the record of the trial and/or the habeas hearing.  Clearly, he paid no attention to the citations provided by Schneider and Gotro in the amended findings, or he surely would have noticed that they had added the unauthorized Finding #37.

The mere fact that an additional finding was surreptitiously added without Judge Gist's knowledge calls into question the integrity of the entire hearing.

Of course, that only matters if you are interested in things like . . . the truth.

In typical fashion, Brian Rogers wrote a piece for the Chronicle which glossed over the D.A.'s Office's responses, linked to previous articles which blasted Kelly Siegler, and quoted Temple attorney, Casie Gotro, extensively.  Rogers made no effort to contact Siegler for a comment and apparently avoided asking Gotro any hard hitting questions such as "Did you actually add a judicial finding and slide it past the judge?"

Finding # 37 is not mentioned once in his article.

Gotro and Schneider have spent the past several months questioning Kelly Siegler's integrity and accusing her of not playing fair during the Temple trial.  The Chronicle has been more than happy to oblige them and post every last allegation.  They have gleefully called Siegler a cheater while touting John Denholm and Steve Clappart as heroes for attempting to arrest two innocent kids for capital murder.

As it turns out, it doesn't look like Kelly Siegler was the one breaking the rules.

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you missed a word in your last sentence. And what was finding 37???

Murray Newman said...

Fixed it. Thanks.

Finding 37 was not detailed in the D.A.s Office's response. You'll have to ask Stan or Casie. They wrote it.

Anonymous said...



Judge Gist's ruling suggesting David Temple "deserves" a new trial was totally dismantled by the outstanding and meticulously detailed response submitted by the State of Texas. The Answer drafted by Harris County ADA, Roe Wilson, makes it abundantly clear that she well deserves the reputation of being one of the all time great appellate lawyers in America. I am confident that had ADA Wilson represented the State personally at Gist's "Kangaroo Hearing"; the outcome would have been fact based instead of the unbridled oddity it evolved into.

Unlike Judge Gist, ADA Wilson actually read the record and based her assessment on real facts and case law. The contrast is astonishing. Judge Gist would have been better served to have read the record himself before ruling; rather than relying on defense counsels' rendition of what transpired. Gist appears to have pulled findings and conclusions of "fact" out of thin air---they are void of a scintilla of factual support and were presented without even the pretense of a single legitimate citation.

This Mysterious #37 supports the obvious conclusion that Schneider and Gotro served more as law clerks for Judge Gist than mere defense counsel for a man who executed his pregnant wife. Sanctions against "Team Temple" seem to be the least of their worries.
As for the Houston Chronicle……Kelly Siegler's 1st Amendment lawyer must be licking his chops.

The defense bar and media ought to be outraged! Where are the "Innocence Project" advocates? A conspiracy of this magnitude to knowingly and deliberately seek the wrongful incarceration of an innocent man (Riley) so that a factually guilty and righteously convicted "Manson-like" killer (Temple) goes free, is reprehensible.

Kelly Siegler tried a very complex Cold Case against a formidable defense attorney, Dick DeGuerin, and JUSTICE prevailed.

Lee said...

You are going through a lot of effort to back your buddy Kelly.....

You may have a history with her that sounds like you may not be the best evaluator....?

Anonymous said...

Kelly and Harris County Have done a great job. Murray keep up the good work and the honest reporting

Anonymous said...

Thanks Murray for bringing the truth to light and to Harris County thank you

Anonymous said...

Hey Murray,
If this Riley Joe Sanders guy hasn't lawyered up yet you need to sign him and "Richard Jewell" the Houston Chronicle and the players of Team DeGuerin.

Anonymous said...

OMG you need to read today's Houston Press article on Temple if you haven't already.

Anonymous said...

http://www.houstonpress.com/news/state-says-judges-findings-in-david-temple-case-stray-from-the-facts-7746971

Anonymous said...

For the gift that just keeps on giving, check this site out:
http://www.tdcaa.com/journal/not-so-squirrely-after-all

DPPooper said...

I wul be righting about this soon. I no sumbody who whorked in the appellant section of the DAS orfice

Anonymous said...

Good article by the Houston press. Take notes Brian and Lisa.

Anonymous said...

Some observations:
1. Good job breaking the facts down in simple fashion Murray.
2. Yes, Roe is a great appellate attorney.
3. Judge Gist is a liberal, defense oriented judge who has screwed the prosecution often and well.
4. Brian Rogers is one of the most biased and poor reporters the Chronicle ever hired. He needs to read
old Articles written by Christy Drennan, Nene Foxhall, and some of the other great reporters who reported the facts.
5. And what can you say about Dick. He's a great lawyer. But he would never hesitate to put on any witness that says what he needs without regard for its truthfulness which he well knows.

Anonymous said...

Some observations:
1. Good job breaking the facts down in simple fashion Murray.
2. Yes, Roe is a great appellate attorney.
3. Judge Gist is a liberal, defense oriented judge who has screwed the prosecution often and well.
4. Brian Rogers is one of the most biased and poor reporters the Chronicle ever hired. He needs to read
old Articles written by Christy Drennan, Nene Foxhall, and some of the other great reporters who reported the facts.
5. And what can you say about Dick. He's a great lawyer. But he would never hesitate to put on any witness that says what he needs without regard for its truthfulness which he well knows.

Just Sayin' said...

Additional Observations:
1. Murray is a class act whose reporting defines journalistic integrity.
2. Roe Wilson a great appellate attorney? She's a friggin' ROCK STAR.
3. Judge Gist's liberal agenda is one thing. His willingness to accept defense counsels' position in totality IN LIEU OF actually reading the record and fact basing his opinion is beyond words and shall be his legacy. He owes the the State of Texas more than a perfunctory mea culpa.
4. Brian Roger's quest to out Faulkenberg Liberal Lisa won't land him a Pulitzer Prize……..even in Fiction; but it might very well land him the focus of a deposition instead.
5. Tricky Dick? Well he might have gone too far this time.

Just Sayin'

Anonymous said...

The defense bar was like a rabid swarm of flies on shit when the Gist Ruling was published. However, after Gist was outed they morphed into a cricket farm.
When it comes to truth, methinks Team Temple et al are a bunch of weasels.

Anonymous said...

"BigJollyPolitics.com was started by David Jennings in 2009. The goal was to create a website that covered local and state politics with an eye on truth first, even if covering a specific truth was hard. And to have fun! You don’t have to be angry to be a conservative!"

What a crock!

Where are David Jennings and his boy Hooper when the unpleasant truth is revealed?

Twilight Zoned said...

At a mere five foot two;
he always wore boots,
and often a hat.
But the boy never grew.

Picked on in school;
he cried to his mama,
what shall I do?
The boy was no fool.

He studied all night;
I will practice law,
that will make me stand tall.
I will do what is right.

Percy Foreman will teach me;
even Racehorse was short,
but his skills made him tall.
But Dick still felt wee.

Dick won case after case;
he wheeled and he dealed,
some thought he cheated.
it was never a race.

Along came a little girl trained to fight;
a tough little shit,
he never gave her a second thought.
She prepared all day and all night.

She greeted him and flashed a big smile;
game on from the start,
he was in for a shock.
This little girl ran a four minute mile.

Kelly's justice prevailed,
not only once,
but every time.
Dick knew he was nailed.

Unable to face his last Waterloo;
playing by the rules'
was no longer an option.
What was the little man to do?

Dick vowed to do whatever it takes;
he rounded up his minions,
their mission was clear.
Alas, they made many mistakes.

TZ

Anonymous said...

Murray,
Here is finding 37 from the CCA Website.

37. Siegler lied to the trial judge about the phone numbers for the Roberts being disconnected. [TR6, P.7, L.25-P.8, L.8 (Pretrial Hearing October 4, 2007); WR35, DX-198, "Siegler Email to Clappart, October 4, 2007"].

Murray Newman said...

Anon 1:38 pm,

Thanks for posting. That's a pretty big finding for Gotro and Schneider to have "accidentally" forgotten to remove. They were clearly trying to get that one in so they could draw a finding of prosecutorial misconduct. I'm surprised Gist didn't hold them in contempt.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:38,

1. The Roberts kids testified
2. Todd Ward, Dick DeGuerin's junior associate, went to Mississippi to personally interview the Roberts kids
3. Who's the real liar?

Anonymous said...

For an in depth story about the case and the story about the neighbors son and his friends; http://www.tdcaa.com/journal/not-so-squirrely-after-all

Anonymous said...

Make no mistake, finding 37 was designed to get Kelly disbarred, pure and simple.

So if a prosecutor tried to pull a fast one like that, he would be fired (unless of course Lykos were DA, whereupon he would be rewarded as permanent head of misdemeanor, or something like that). He would also be publicly castrated by the press and the defense bar.

When a defense attorney does it, the accepted explanation is, "oh it was a mistake"? No biggie?

I am amazed that the crackerjack reporters at the Chron did not track down what the mistaken finding was. Oh, wait, no I am not. I was confusing them with journalists.

Anonymous said...


Stan Schneider is to Dick DeGuerin as Roy Cohn was to Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

….and to them we ought to collectively say as Mr. Welch famously said to U.S. Sen. McCarthy, "You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

Anonymous said...

Murray did you happen to notice that over the weekend Brian Rogers updated his most recent KS digital slam piece to include her comments:
"On Friday, Siegler released the following statement.
"The 80-page Objections filed on Tuesday by the Harris County District Attorney's office conclusively refute every instance of prosecutorial misconduct found by the court in its order on David Temple's habeas corpus application. The Objections provide a meticulous review of the court record and include extensive citations to and quotations from, that record—both of which are missing from the habeas court's original opinion. In many instances, the record evidence directly contradicts the habeas court's factual findings, and the habeas court has misstated witness testimony and dates. The Objections demonstrate that the witness statements that were purportedly withheld by the prosecution not only were timely produced, but were even used during trial by defense counsel, who introduced them as evidence, used them during witness examinations or simply referred to them on the record. The Objections undeniably establish that the jury in the Temple murder trial heard all relevant evidence, that Temple's defense counsel had sufficient notice of all relevant evidence and that no prosecutorial misconduct occurred."
Rogers also contemporaneously included a link to the State's 80 page response.

Damn disingenuous and an intentional misrepresentation for Rogers and the Houston Chronicle not to have timely included both sides of this story.

A more legitimate remedy would be for the Houston Chronicle to have Brian Rogers man up and write a new article with this information, rather than footnote an old piece. That would insure that the same audience that was initially and deliberately mislead would have the opportunity to read the full and accurate story.

Murray Newman said...

Don't look for Brian Rogers to call attention to his own weak writing. The entire staff over there is pretending like the D.A.'s Office response (with citations that support their findings) never happened. The level of intellectual dishonesty is glaring, yet sadly, no longer surprising.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:59 and Newman@6:13;

It seems those who complain the loudest about injustice are the quietest when the injustice conflicts with their agenda.
If Judge Gist held a mea culpa news conference on his bizarre ruling there would be a media blackout.

Anonymous said...

Why was Casie filing pleadings in the Temple case while her license was suspended?

DPPooper said...

It ok. I not a lawyer neither

Anonymous said...

So was David set free or still in incarceration? It struck me as strange when he said he was already planning where they would go out to eat that evening.

Paulette said...

My guess is he's still in jail and will serve his full sentence as they found that Kelly Seigler did nothing wrong. Typical though when you have a strong, smart, tough outspoken woman of course she just had to be lying because women can't possibly be better than men. Good going Kelly and love the new show.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for choosing to report the REAL facts. Judge Gist is obviously derelict in his responsibility of knowing the facts of the case. Team DeGuerin is clearly willing to twist the facts due to DeGuerin's personal animosity towards Siegler, and his desire to get his client out at any cost.

TRUTH MATTERS!!

Anonymous said...

Lol..Kelly Seigler isn't all mighty... I'm sure she has more than one prosecutorial misconduct allegations out there.. Until it happens to you or a family member people will alaways believe the state's prosecutor is on the up and up..I worked behind these scenes of court rooms and witnessed it with one particular prosecutor that won many cases.

Murray Newman said...

You worked behind the scenes? And you saw another prosecutor win a lot? And that is relevant to this . .. How?

Tom Leitch said...

You judges and lawyers in Texas are a bunch of ignorant southern hicks. You know of course there wouldn't be a Texas if there had been a back door to the Alamo.

Tom Leitch

Murray Newman said...

Nicely done Tom, you bring a new level of douche baggery to Internet trolling.

Anonymous said...

So glad to have found this blog.
CBS's 48 Hours didn't report responsibly without the Harris County response.
Hopefully the details will be sufficiently reviewed by the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Concerned said...

Nice Murray, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and that does not make him wrong. Lawyers are definitely hurting our society not helping. The truth does not always matter to them and that is sad

Ralph Taite said...

It's really hard to believe you're a criminal defense attorney, Murray. I don't know Kelly, but we can damn well see she withheld some things. Even you admit that in your blog, yet you equivocate -- "oh, but that's ok because well, the information withheld wasn't exculpatory." Apparently Gist disagreed with you and he's been practicing law a lot longer than you have.

Murray Newman said...

Well Ralph, then you clearly know as much about me as you seem to about the Temple case.

As you can see from this post, the findings of Gist are clearly in contradiction to the record, which makes the findings highly suspect as a whole. Additionally, the fact that Gist blindly signed off on amended findings without noticing that Stan and Casie had "accidentally" added an additional finding furthers the argument that Gist was asleep at the wheel.

I agree that Gist that has been practicing a lot longer than I have, but that doesn't mean he was paying attention here.

Why don't you read all of the actual documents -- not just the ones that Team Temple wants you to before deciding what you believe.

And feel free to come watch me in trial any time you want and we'll see what you believe after that.

Chaz said...

Just one comment... It's Texas.

Unknown said...

Wow sounds I have lost all faith in the court system ! That man deserves a new trial!

Ralph Taite said...

Murray,

The reason I said it is hard to believe you're a criminal defense attorney is because you have accepted the premise that the prosecutor did not share all the evidence, yet you still defend her. I'm not particularly concerned with whether Temple is guilty. The issue is prosecutorial misconduct which is a HUGE problem in Texas. The fact you would attack Gist seems a great example of blaming the messenger. This is why people don't have faith in your profession or law enforcement. There is no reason to protect public officials from criticism. They have a higher bar of responsibility than people who are not in their position and frankly, I think Kelly should do some time in TDCJ for this case regardless of whether Temple is guilty.

I don't need to know any more about the case other than she withheld evidence from the defense. Period. I don't care whether you or she or anyone else believes the evidence she withheld is relevant to the defense of Temple. That's not for you to decide. That's for a jury or a judge to decide and the judge did decide. And you were wrong. I'm sorry that you're still butthurt over being wrong, but get over it. She deserves to be in jail as do a lot of prosecutors. If there is no threat of jail to her ilk, then one day you'll be on the wrong side of the prosecutor and think, Jesus, I should have listened to Ralph -- he was right.

Ralph

Anonymous said...

For a lawyer you're pretty stupid...for instance the comment where the person commented she/he worked behind the scenes...the point is that prosecutorial misconduct is huge and the concern is that it was witnessed with a prosecutor who won a lot of cases. Secondly, any idiot could see Kelly withheld evidence. I love in the 48 hours where they are discussing how she withheld an interview with a teacher who states that Belinda left the office between 3:20 and 3:30 and made a call to David and Kelly says I took that as she made the call before. The reporter states it seems as though Belinda made the call after and Kelly responds "you are just reading that how you want to." Isn't that what she is doing as well?? Regardless she definitely withheld evidence and any layperson could see that.

Murray Newman said...

So, I'm stupid compared to you and your vast knowledge of the case from watching a one hour TV show about it? Okay.

Murray Newman said...

So, I'm stupid compared to you and your vast knowledge of the case from watching a one hour TV show about it? Okay.

Anonymous said...

Wow ... lot of respect lost for Murray Newman. Evidence was withheld ...whether it would have helpped defense or not, it was withheld. To defend withholding evidence really makes you lose respect for someone. If the time and call are in question from the school, why not ask to clarify. Why get lawyers for the kids? Why was she scared of questions being asked if she was so convinced her evidence was correct?

Murray Newman said...

Well, as much as it breaks my heart to have lost your anonymous respect for me, I would, YET AGAIN, point you to the previous articles that I've written on David Temple as well as the other documents provided, And YET AGAIN, I would encourage you to read Craig Malisow's detailed article in the Houston Press:

http://www.houstonpress.com/news/unreasonable-doubt-did-kelly-siegler-really-railroad-an-innocent-man-eight-years-ago-7860329

The record does not support the findings of Gist, and the people blasting Kelly are relying on Gotro's sound bytes and a TV show that spent less than an hour examining a complicated and long case. Read the rebuttal that Roe wrote. It's 80 pages and deconstructs the Findings.

And aren't you even the slightest bit suspicious that Gist was asleep at the wheel, when Gotro is sliding in extra findings on his Findings of Fact and he's just blindly signing them?

Of course, the famous prosecutor on the controversial case being dirty makes for a much better news story, doesn't it?

Who gives a crap about the truth?

Robert White said...

Can someone explain to me how's the time of the murder is not important??....I think that can bring things to light...

Robert White said...

Can someone explain to me how the time of murders is not important in this case??

Robert White said...

Can someone explain to me how's the time of the murder is not important??....I think that can bring things to light...

Ralph Taite said...

Let's see if I get your argument, Murray. You believe Gist stacked the deck against Siegler, who is very unlikely to spend any time behind bars and that's more important than a guy who's in jail for life? You're more concerned with the possibility that Kelly might get a slap on the wrist rather than a man in jail who at the very least deserves a new trial? God, I might find myself becoming a bleeding heart if this is the way we treat people. Have we forgotten that the standard is "beyond a reasonable doubt" and even Thomas Jefferson said something like "better 10 guilty men go free than an innocent man be condemned." I mean if Kelly f'd up, why are you so anxious to make sure that the result (a man condemned) is supreme to the process? That is supposed to be why our system is superior: we put process ahead of simply getting the result. My father is a county criminal judge here in Texas -- you may recognize his name from mine. I know when he was an attorney in private practice it was very common for defendants to get reduced sentences because of F ups by the prosecutor and that occasionally will happen because we put a high value on a clean system where procedures are followed and bad apples punished.

Just one man's opinion.

Ralph

Ralph Taite said...

One small correction: apparently the 10 guilty men quote is actually from English jurist William Blackstone, not Jefferson but it was certainly a quote which motivated the Founders.

Ralph Taite said...

I also went back and read the Houston Press story and I notice they glossed over a very important piece of evidence: the shotgun residue found at the murder scene. The investigators thought they were reloads. The Press article mentions that they were reloads, but when the issue of whether Temple possessed reloaded shotgun shells, they glossed over a very key fact there. They said Temple's friends who helped him move saw he had a box of shotgun shells near Belinda's body, but reloaded ammunition is a pretty unusual thing for a guy to possess. Did anyone ever demonstrate Temple ever reloaded shotgun ammunition? That's not something typical to have around the house. I own shotgun shells and 38 special ammo and I've never seen reloads. Why use reloads if you just keep one box of ammo around the house? Reloaded ammunition is really an unusual to see around a person's house unless Temple was an avid hunter. You have to have special equipment to reload a shotgun shell and if the police never found it, that amounts to reasonable doubt.

According to the 48 Hours report, the 16 year old Sanders DID possess reloaded shotgun ammo (double ought buck) and allegedly lied about owning a shotgun when asked about it. That, if you ask me, is a much stronger smoking gun (no pun intended) than Temple's inconsistencies.

I'm more interested in following the forensic evidence because I know that inconsistencies in statements are often the result of brutal interrogations, not willful lying (which also should be illegal in the US, btw).

Are you saying that the reloaded ammo thing has already been batted down and, if so, by whom? Because I think it's pretty damn key to this case. And it certainly smells like reasonable doubt.

Ralph Taite said...

Adding to the reasonable doubt column:

Sanders, the 16 year old kid who possessed a shotgun with the odd type of reload ammo used on Belinda Temple, failed or was found deceptive on three polygraphs given by police and refused a fourth!

Gunshot residue was found on Temple, but two FBI chemists came up with conflicting results as to whether the same residue was found on his wife on the same items of clothing. Also, there was an unusually long time between the collection of the evidence and the tests being performed which indicates problems. Again, reasonable doubt.

This is precisely why this case is controversial. There was reasonable doubt written all over David Temple. Why in the world would Kelly take on this case? And then to pick and choose which statements she was going to supply to the defense. It's just stinky. Obviously under the current Michael Morton law, she would be, without a doubt, under indictment. She slides in a very grey pre-Morton law area because she decided to be a little stinky on this case. Stinky in the sense that she came up with her own decisions about whether items such as a Harris County prediction on time of death -- albeit purely guesswork -- should be handed over to the defense. She wouldn't have that leisure today, but obviously that evidence might have been exculpatory and I think it was stinky of her not to hand it over. The old idea that the prosecutor is the arbiter of what is exculpatory was bad.

Anonymous said...

We had a similiar case in australia. Eventually the officer who turned on his old friends hit the jackpot and was able to show all of them up as corrupt. Of course Gists findings will be at odds with the record. The record is flawed since the prosecutor withheld evidence...what kind of person says oh what 16 year old is gonna kill their neighbour like that. Looks like a hell of lot of teenagers go around killing and harming people these days with little to no regard for the consequences and that woman knows it! If you did nothing wrong let the man have his trial again if you did nothing wrong you should get your guilty verdict.

Anonymous said...

I finally allowed myself to watch the latest 48 Hours and am still seething. I have never seen such a disgusting pair of publicity hounds in my life. The scenes where "Team Temple" were staged articulating outrage over paperwork while pretending to read in front of the camera and preparing for a non hearing in an empty courtroom were just so shameless and an embarrassment for all Texas lawyers. I also find it funny that Team Temple would make so much over Riley Sanders' polygraph tests yet have failed to present a passing polygraph for their allegedly innocent client. Hmmm... What made me the sickest is their feigned dedication to seeking justice for Belinda and her baby. They couldn't care less about them other than the attention they might bring. Maybe they can tell us why their client has refused to allow her family to see Evan since he gave his skank of a new wife custody of BELINDA'S son. Her mother died not too long ago so it's too late for her to know her grandson. I'm confident that the Court of Criminal Appeals will not grant him a new trial and maybe then the exploitation will end.

Anonymous said...

And all the while, another innocent man sits inside the US prison system.
For prosecutors like Seigler, the truth seems to come a distant second to winning or losing. The distorted ethics on display in this prosecution should be shocking, but we have seen too many examples now and have become habituated tothis outrageous and appalling behaviour. Good Bless America.

Murray Newman said...

Anon 5:27 a.m.,

Again, please read up on the topic instead of basing your opinion on a poorly done 42 minute news show. If you truly believe that a six week long trial and a three month long hearing can be adequately represented on such a short venue, then that's the type of weak-mindedness Team Temple is hoping for.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for actually reporting real facts. The 48 Hours piece was slanted drivel & the Chronicle pieces that came up in my search...paid for by Team Temple?
Judge Gist...stunned at the blatant bungling.
Laughing at the 48 Hour viewers arguing while not reading the actual decision. What a TV program with a motive?

Unknown said...

I prefer the term "douche-canoeing".

Richard Sorenson said...

Douche-canoe works well.

Louis Jiannine, J.D. said...

This case re-raises for me a question that I have never been able to resolve to my satisfaction. But before I get to that, I need to provide some background. I am a former prosecutor, former public defender, former private attorney, and retired professor. (a member of the Florida Bar for 40 years) I required my students to read "Actual Innocence" regarding convicted felons later exonerated by DNA and the problems in the law enforcement and prosecutor communities highlighted by such evidence. Over and over I am stunned by the willingness of police and prosecutors to act unethically and even illegally in order to obtain convictions of such doubtful veracity.

My question is something along the lines of "Why are some prosecutors so willing to ignore law and ethics to obtain convictions?" I have never been satisfied that "ambition" "pressure to solve cases" "seeking justice by unjust means" "fighting fire with fire" or any other answer satisfies.

Why?

Anonymous said...

But you have to ask is it possible that the murderer was Riley? Someone who access to a shotgun, admittedly had possession of the shotgun, failed multiple polygraph tests and was known to break into houses but was only cleared because he was cooperative per Kelly (I take her word with a grain of salt because everyone in that office treated/treats her like she is a god which she started to believe as well) well good for him I didn't know just answering some questions(some untruthfully per the results of the polygraph test) will clear you for murder. One last thing there Murray, I saw what you said about them attempting to arrest kids for murder but hey its not a bad thing if the kids actually did it. I'm sure this post will never see the light of day because I notice some serious bias on here but hey its just my opinion.

Murray Newman said...

"but hey its not a bad thing if the kids actually did it"????

So, David Temple goes to trial and is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in record time, and yet you are advocating for the arrests of kids because "its not a bad thing if they actually did it"?

The problem is their involvement in the murder was examined and rejected at trial. This is a smoke screen and nothing more.

Yes, I'm biased for the truth being out there. The problem for you is that the truth is that David Temple murdered his wife.

Jack Graham said...

Thanks for this. Just watched the 48Hrs TV documentary about the issue, which leaves it all mysterious and ambiguous for the sake of drama... and, clearly, this is done by leaving out loads of pertinent facts. Thanks for being a resource I could immediately go to in order to get some actual information.

Unknown said...

I still don't understand if Temple's appeals have all been exhausted now, or if more appeals are yet to be heard.

Anonymous said...

How does everyone here feel now that David Temple is free? Are you shocked at the court of appeals decision? I don't know if he did it or not, but after everything I've read on this case (including this article, which is how I came to the comments), I didn't think he got a fair trial. I always admired KS and her work, but if the way she handled Temple's case is the way she handled all her cases, I think some review should be done.