Friday, May 5, 2017

Kim Ogg (Finally) Does the Right Thing

Despite my predictions in my previous post about what I believed was going to happen today during David Temple's court appearance in the 178th District Court, the Harris County District Attorney's Office finally recused itself from the high publicity murder case.

Regardless of the strengths or weaknesses of the facts of the case against Temple, it was unquestionably the right thing to do.  Although Kim Ogg took entirely too long arriving at (what many felt was) the obvious conclusion, the important thing is that she ultimately got there.  Whatever decisions are made about David Temple from here on out will be made without the improper influence of the members of Temple's defense team who now work within Ogg's Administration.

It is human nature to still feel frustration about how long Ogg took to recuse herself from the case and how little she communicated with Belinda Temple's family during the ordeal.  Her explanation that she needed more time to "review the case" rang hollow, and I heard from a couple of sources that the Temple file never actually left the hallways of the Appellate Division.  More likely, she needed some time to work up the courage to tell DeGuerin that she couldn't dismiss his case for him.

Whatever went on behind the scenes, Kim Ogg can now focus on being a progressive District Attorney in a major metropolitan area without having the looming specter of David Temple hanging over her head.  Although she may not realize it at the moment, she did herself a huge favor by finally letting go of the case.  Her reputation can recover from the appearance of impropriety that she brought upon herself for the first four months of her tenure.

More importantly, the family of Belinda Temple can know that the person or agency handling their case from now on doesn't owe David Temple's attorney any huge favors, or employ people like Steve Clappart or John Denholm, who would be willing to file capital murder charges on someone just to cast doubt on David Temple's guilt.

What happens after today will be up to somebody else, but the State of Texas versus David Temple can hopefully finally escape all of the sideshow that has been going on around it and return to the facts of the case.

If that happens, then today was a good day.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

About time is right. Back on January 4, Hooper delighted in the fact that the office did not recuse. Hey Don, maybe next time.

Anonymous said...

I don't get the "courage" angle. If she wanted to dismiss the case, she didn't need anyone's permission. Part of her job. Dick D. would have been happy and perhaps she'd have been defeated for reelection but she sort of gets to do what she wants here.

Probably the right call either way.

Anonymous said...

To avoid any hint of impropriety the Hon. Kelli Johnson might want to give the Texas AG's office a call on this one............whomever is ultimately selected as a Special Prosecutor will be scrutinized very carefully by the Houston Press and many national media outlets.
Judge Johnson is an ethical District Judge and was a well respected ADA. By asking the AG to handle David Temple she will put justice above politics and friendships.............and justice must be meted out for the savage murder of Belinda Temple and her unborn baby girl.

At the end of the day HCDA Kim Ogg did the right thing..............now it is Judge Kelli Johnson's opportunity to do the right thing, simply because it is the right thing to do.

Anonymous said...

The same crazy-eyed Texas Attorney General who is himself facing three felony charges, including fraud and acting as a securities broker without registering with the state?

Anyone who trusts that guy to do the right thing is nutso. His office is for sale to the highest bidder.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:32,

If you were Judge Kelli Johnson who would you appoint as the Special Prosecutor?

Anonymous said...

Somehow, with Kim Ogg and Dicky D involved, I won't feel good about this until I see who the Special Prosecutor is. That George Soros money can go a long way

Anonymous said...

Randy Schaffer
Bob Moen
Warren diepraam

Anonymous said...

Dick Bax
Chris Downey
Johnny Holmes if he would be willing

Murray Newman said...

You're kidding about Randy and Warren, right?

Murray Newman said...

The AG's Office has arguably one of the best murder trial lawyers in prosecution -- Lisa Tanner.

Anonymous said...

Ken Magidson and/or Don DeGabrelle
Two former US Attorneys for the Southern District of Texas

Anonymous said...

Kelli should consider granting a change of venue to Montgomery County and appoint that DAs office to prosecute it

Anonymous said...

I hope Judge Johnson will go with the AG's office and get Lisa Tanner. I've heard good things about her, and it takes it out of the county and away from ANY undue influence. This has been a long road getting here, and now the scrutiny will be on Judge Johnson's decision. Members of the media will be all over this, watching it carefully, so she has to pick the right person.

Anonymous said...

I 100% agree with you Murray--Lisa Tanner with the AG's office is super qualified to handle Temple's retrial.

Win-win all the way around:
* David Temple will return to prison for the rest of his life.
* The kid (now an adult) who has been defamed for almost two decades as a fabricated "alternate suspect" to divert justice will finally have his reputation on the mend.
* Belinda Temple, her murdered unborn baby girl and her family will have justice.
* The residents of Katy, Texas will sleep a whole lot easier.
* Judge Johnson will be a Rock Star and come election time she is bulletproof.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:34

AMEN!

Trident 5 said...

OPEN LETTER TO HOUSTON CHRONICLE BRIAN ROGERS WHO CENSORS MY COMMENTS

My Dear Brian "Biassed (sic)" Rogers,

Objectivity is lost when you censor, publish innuendos and intentionally mislead.

The CCA simply applied today's procedural standards (which were, as you must know being an attorney yourself, not the standard at the time of Temple's trial) and concluded therefore, that simply because evidence was turned over late, regardless as to plausible material and exculpatory value, that this precluded Team Temple from having sufficient time to "work the evidence" and thereby denied him a fair trial?
Please inform your dwindling readership with specificity the precise details of MATERIAL EXCULPATORY evidence you allude might have resulted in an acquittal that was not turned over timely?

RJS a/k/a the "alternate suspect" actually took the stand and was cross examined by Temple's defense counsel, Dick DeGuerin. He was ruled out by HPD as not being remotely a viable suspect and the jury, after hearing the evidence, concurred.
What "new" evidence is there at this juncture that would change a subsequent jury's mind as to the credibility of this witness?
What material exculpatory evidence have you discovered as an investigative reporter that Kelly Siegler withheld?

Actual court transcript estimony shows that RJS was in possession of a 12 gauge shotgun (the type of weapon used to execute Belinda Temple) and that he smoked marijuana on the day of Belinda Temple's murder.
Does that constitute probable cause in your mind?

I am having difficulty connection the dots as to how you make the leap that:
1. the mere possession of a 12 gauge shotgun in KATY, TEXAS (duck hunting capital of the world) makes you a murder suspect;
2. smoking dope makes you more likely to attack and murder your pregnant neighbor instead of a bag of Cheetos;
3. this neighborhood teen age dope head was able to break into the Temple house undeterred by a vicious guard dog that kept police at bay when they rolled up at the murder scene until subdued by its owner, David Temple.
How is out that David Temple's beloved guard dog wasn't shot or harmed? Hmmmm;
4. if burglary was the real motive why did RJS carry a shotgun into the house instead of out of the house?
Wouldn't burglary of a habitation 101 teach you that you want both hands free to carry stolen property?
What motive did RJS have to run upstairs and blast a 12 gauge shell at point blank range into the back of his pregnant neighbor's head and then leave without stealing her engagement ring, watch, wallet or anything else of substantial value?
Maybe David Temple's mistress at the time of his wife's murder might be relevant when it comes to motive?

In closing, even though you are just a reporter, you did attend law school; so what new evidence would you use to cause a different result than the original verdict rendered?

Anonymous said...

Judge Johnson should appoint a former rock star prosecutor beyond reproach. A prosecutor who is known for painstaking preparation. One who is thorough and talks to all witnesses and officers repeatedly before trial. You know, someone like Rachel Palmer

Anonymous said...

If the AG's office is appointed, there is no guarantee that Lisa Tanner will be the one sent to try it. All Judge Johnson can do is designate the AG's Office. She cannot name an individual within the office. That's up to the AG. I do not know Lisa Tanner. I know that the AG's office is not known for having stellar trial lawyers. Judge Johnson should appoint 2 respected local attorneys. At least one of them should have prior prosecutorial experience. My two cents.

Anonymous said...

Don't appoint the AGs office. They took over some cases in Bexar County after Lahood won and their work was deplorable and down right pathetic.

Brad Walters said...

Middle name Fifth.

Anonymous said...

Stanley Schneider's rectal sphincter would tighten up like a 3 legged deaf mute virgin chihuahua if Randy Schaffer was appointed Special Prosecutor...............Ticketmaster would make a fortune!

Anonymous said...

Temple should approach the special prosecutor and see if he can plead guilty to murder two. He'd be guaranteed to get out when he turns sixty as opposed to going before a parole board. Prosecutors in retrials are probably more likely to allow for plead downs since retrials tend to be an ordeal.

Murray Newman said...

The Texas statutes don't have a Murder Two.

Anonymous said...

You ain't from around here, huh?

Anonymous said...

@MurrayNewman - isn't murder two what Clara Harris was convicted of?

Anonymous said...

Texas Penal Code Sec 19.02 (d): At the punishment stage of a trial, the defendant may raise the issue as to whether he caused the death under the immediate influence of sudden passion arising from an adequate cause. If the defendant proves the issue in the affirmative by a preponderance of the evidence, the offense is a felony of the second degree.

Can someone plead to it? I mean, with manslaughter as an equivalent option, when would it ever come up? But theoretically?

Anonymous said...

Hey 10:06, the AG's Office was appointed to one capital murder case in Bexar County after LaHood was elected. (The previous DA's Office had already waived death.) The defendant was convicted by a jury and sentenced to life without parole. That's not exactly "deplorable and downright pathetic" work.

Anonymous said...

Any updates on the appointment of a pro tem?

Luci Davidson said...

Bill Turner and Lisa Tanner from the AG's Office. Excellent choice.