PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - Jurors have found Robert Temple guilty of killing his wife, a Pinellas County real estate agent, back in 1999.
Robert Temple was found guilty of first-degree murder and the judge sentenced him to life in prison on Saturday in connection to the death of his wife, Rosemary Christensen.
Christensen's sons, Radinck and Oliver van Vollenhoven exclaimed, "yes" as the verdict was read.
The have since released the following statement:
"Although this doesn't bring her back, we are very relieved that justice has finally been served in our mother's case and that we can now close this chapter in our lives. To set the record straight once and for all, our mother Rosemary was never a swinger, but a loving and caring mother that we both loved dearly and will be in our hearts forever.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everybody that has been involved with our mother's case from the beginning and refused to give up on finding the truth."
Christensen, a Pinellas County real estate agent, disappeared in 1999. In 2008, Temple’s then-girlfriend, Lesley Stewart, told detectives that Temple had stabbed his wife and then forced her to bury the body in North Florida. She said he had also forced her to lie to police officers about what happened.
Temple was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in 2008.
This week, Temple represented himself in court. He suggested that he and his wife were swingers, and they had been involved in a threesome with Stewart. However, he said Stewart and his wife had had a falling out.
Temple argued that falling out had led to a wrestling match between Stewart and Christensen at his condo, while he was out with another woman. He said he come home to find his wife dead, after having fallen on a knife during the struggle with Stewart.
Prosecutors refuted that argument throughout the trial. The medical examiner said the evidence showed Christensen had been stabbed, and her injuries were not consistent with having fallen on a knife.
During the trial, the prosecution also portrayed Temple as a controlling and abusive man who preyed on the weak and then hid behind them for protection. They said he was the only one with motivation to have murdered his wife, and was the mastermind of the cover-up after her death.
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