There's been a constant stream of request for interviews - "Good Morning America," "Inside Edition," People magazine, the National Inquirer and the Houston Chronicle with Belinda's father, Tom Lucas of Nacogdoches, and Belinda's twin sister, Brenda. "When I got home the day I received notice from Harris County Sheriff Tommy Thomas that David had been arrested, my answering machine was full," Lucas said, "and it's been that way since. There have been a lot of national News networks wanting to do stories." His recent experience with the national News media has been "mostly bad," Lucas said. Lucas had planned to film a segment for Court TV while in Houston this week to meet with prosecutors to discuss the case, but he's reconsidered. "This is a News item, and all News media should be able to participate," he said, adding, however, that he's "gotten to the point" where The Daily Sentinel and the Houston Chronicle are the only media representatives he feels comfortable talking to. It has taken six years in coming, but Lucas said he feels "confident" in the prosecution and the judge whose court the case has been assigned. "I believe the case is in good hands," he said. Harris County assistant district attorney Kelly Siegler will be lead prosecutor, Lucas said. Siegler gained national attention prosecuting the case of Susan Wright. Wright claimed self defense after tying her husband to their bed with neckties and a bathrobe sash, then stabbing him 193 times, according to the recent People magazine article "Drama Queen" that describes Siegler's courtroom "theatrics" and touts her 95-percent conviction rate. Siegler was also quoted during the interview as working on a cold-case file from 1999. "That was Belinda's case she was referring to," Lucas said. Lucas has had no contact with David Temple or his family since the arrest and practically no contact in the six years since the murder. He's not seen his grandson, Evan, who was 3 when his mother was killed, in more than four years. "I've heard that Dick DeGuerin is now his (David's) attorney," Lucas said. The Web site www.roundtop.com/DeGuerin.htm describes DeGuerin as "a rip-snorting, bronc ridin', fast talkin', straight shooter and he's not afraid to take on the high and mighty. He's a lawyer made from the same stuff as legends like Richard "Racehorse" Haynes, F. Lee Bailey, Melvin Belli and his own mentor, Percy Foreman. He's a modern day Daniel Webster, and if what some of the D.A.s say is true, there's a little bit of the devil in there too." While DeGuerin will be a force to be dealt with in the courtroom, at this point, Lucas is more concerned about the well-being of his grandson. "He's 9 now, and I don't know where he is or what's happening to him," he said. "I'm concerned as to how he could be affected by all this." While he's in Houston this week, Lucas plans to attend a Christmas meeting of Parents of Murdered Children, a support group he found in Houston a few months after Belinda's murder. Through that organization, Lucas and his wife found some comfort in sharing their grief with others who understood the pain of loosing a child in such a tragic and gruesome way. "It's a great support group, and they're also victims' rights advocates to ensure that the justice system does everything it can and does everything right," he said He's also been contacted in recent days by victims' assistance coordinators in Harris County. "They're sending me forms to fill out for assistance and literature of what to expect and how the system works," Lucas said. While he said he feels he's getting "closer to closure" in dealing with the death of his daughter, he acknowledges that he has a long road ahead of him that will wind its way through the judicial system. Lucas received a call on the morning of Nov. 30 from the Harris County sheriff telling him that Temple, a former SFA football standout, had just been arrested in connection with Belinda's murder on Jan. 11, 1999. "He said it's been a long time coming, but we arrested David Temple on homicide charges this morning,'" Lucas said in a previously published story. A warrant for Temple's arrest for the murder of his wife was obtained by the Harris County Sheriff's Department the previous day, and officers stopped Temple in his vehicle the next morning while he was on his way to the Alief ISD school where he works as a coach, according to Lt. Danny Billingsley with the Harris County Sheriff's Department. Billingsley said there was no new evidence in the case, but increased work and the "totality of the evidence" was enough to bring charges against Temple. The similarities between Belinda's murder and that of Laci Peterson, the high-profile trial of Laci's husband, Scott, and his eventual conviction for her murder and that of their unborn son, captured the Lucases' attention. "It brought to mind the similarities in the two cases," Lucas said. "They were both school teachers. They both drove SUVs. They were both 8 months pregnant. They both had great smiles." Belinda and her twin sister, Brenda, grew up in Nacogdoches. The two played softball in the summer, and Belinda excelled in basketball, being named an all-district player her senior year at Nacogdoches High School. She graduated from NHS in 1987 and was voted the girl with the most school spirit. She was active in Future Farmers of America and showed grand champion broilers at the Piney Woods Fair. She worked at Brookshire Bros. on University Drive and taught aerobics at Ultra Fit. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from SFA. Belinda and Temple, a star athlete for the SFA Lumberjack football team, were married in January 1992. On the day of the shooting, Belinda's husband, who was a coach at Alief Hastings High School, told Harris County Sheriff's deputies that he and son Evan, then 3, came home in the early evening to find his wife's lifeless body in an upstairs closet of their home in the Cimarron subdivision. She had been killed by a single shotgun blast to the head. Lucas said Temple told officers he had taken his son shopping and to play in a nearby park at the time his wife was murdered. He said he returned home from the outing to find her body in an upstairs closet. Based on his conversation with Harris County detectives, who related to him information they had obtained through statements from Temple and his family, neighbors and co-workers, Lucas had always maintained that there were inconsistencies in the case, which was initially investigated as a burglary turned deadly, and inconsistencies about what Temple told officers about that afternoon and about his life with Belinda. Those very inconsistencies were outlined in the affidavit for the arrest warrant for Temple, and included statements that the Temple's dog, a black chow, was "vicious and aggressive" and only allowed David, Belinda and Evan into the back yard. Members of the homicide squad were of the opinion that "a stranger or random burglar which the dog did not know would have never been able to make entry into the home," the affidavit said. "We felt like the scene was staged," Harris County sheriff's Lt. Bert Diaz was quoted in the Katy Times as saying at the time of the murder. There was evidence that "appeared to be staged," the arrest affidavit said, including a back door, which opened to the back yard where the dog was kept, had a pane of broken glass. "The unusual aspect of the broken glass is that the shattered glass on the inside of the door is strewn in a direction consistent with the door having been open at the time the glass pane was broken; it is apparent that the direction in which the broken glass was shattered could not have happened if the door was shut at the time." It was the opinion of the investigating officers that "a real burglar would have no need to shatter an already open door; only someone who needed to make it look like a burglary would need to do so." The affidavit mentioned a television set that appeared to have been "placed" on its side on the floor, again as if a burglary attempt was staged. "In placing the television set on the floor, the burglar' forgot to unplug the cord of the television and also scraped the wooden edge of the TV table in the attempt, which is consistent with one person trying to gently place the heavy set on the floor, without causing any damage to the television," the document said. There were open drawers throughout the house with contents undisturbed, and jewelry left in plain view and jewelry on the victim was left untouched. After Temple had hired an attorney, he then faxed a list of items to police he "claimed to be missing from the home." However, the list contained no items specifically belonging to the defendant, the affidavit said. The arrest documentation also included statements from Brenda Lucas, who recounted a conversation on Jan. 14, 1999, between Temple and his attorney, followed by another conversation between Brenda and Temple. "I was at David's parents house after the viewing at the funeral home. During our visit, David's attorney (Paul Looney) stood up and asked David when was the last time he had gone hunting. David said he had not gone hunting in over a year. When he said this, my family looked at me because they knew I had told them when I visited Belinda (over New Year's), David wasn't home much because he had gone hunting. Immediately after this, David pulled me into his parent's room and told me that he didn't go hunting when I was visiting. He said he had gone to a friend's house and had gotten real drunk, and there was a girl there, and he had cheated with her. I asked him who the girl was, and he said it was some girl he had known." The affidavit also includes statements from Heather Scott, a fellow Hastings teacher, about her romantic relationship with Temple. The two married after Belinda's death. Three days before Belinda was murdered, Temple confessed his love for Scott, the affidavit said. The affidavit also included information pertaining to gunshot primer residue particles found on clothing belonging to the victim and defendant. Temple was interviewed by police for about 30 minutes the night of the shooting then refused to answer any more questions and wanted to contact his lawyer. Police also asked Temple to take a polygraph test, but he refused. However, Temple's attorney claims his client was never asked to take a polygraph. Initially, Looney made all public statements to the press regarding the murder and the investigation. He has also said authorities, in their questioning, showed "no respect for him (Temple) being the spouse, father and first discoverer of his wife's body," the Times reported. Looney made several public statements in the months following the murder suggesting that the Harris County Sheriff's Department was trying to frame Temple, despite Temple's statement to officers he had not been in the house at the time of the murder. Looney also claimed that when Evan was interviewed by a child psychologist, the "interview cleared his client in undeniable fashion," he said. Looney said the most important factor is that there was no physical evidence found at the scene that could link his client to the crime. A Houston Chronicle story published shortly after the two-year anniversary of Belinda's death quoted Temple as saying, "Everybody who knows me knows I had nothing to do with it. My extended family prays every day for Belinda, and that this will get solved."

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