Thursday, May 1, 2008

Where there's smoke .....

It didn't ring true the first time when she was indicted and the then District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal subsequently dismissed the first indictment for insufficient evidence.

Why did he have the case presented in the first place only to dismiss it for insufficient evidence?

He's not there any longer thanks in great part to his record of e-mails to a lover in his office.

So Ms. Justice is re-indicted and let a petit jury sort it all out.

Justice's wife indicted again in arson case
By Brian Rogers

HOUSTON — For the second time, a Harris County grand jury has indicted the wife of Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina, alleging she burned down the couple's Spring home and damaged two neighbors' homes in a fire last year.

Wednesday's indictment charges Francisca Medina with felony arson in the destruction of her home, felony criminal mischief of more than $200,000 for damage to one neighbor's home and criminal mischief, a state jail felony, for damage to a house behind the Medinas' home.

More than three months ago, a different grand jury indicted Francisca and David Medina, accusing her of having a role in the June 28 fire and him of fabricating evidence, specifically a letter he gave investigators about the incident. The indictments were dismissed the next day.
Prosecutor Vic Wisner said he didn't expect any other indictments in the case, effectively clearing David Medina of wrongdoing. The prosecutor said he remains open to receiving more information about the fire.

Francisca Medina's attorney called the indictment, “ridiculous.”
“There's no evidence, there's never going to be any evidence that Fran Medina burned her own home,” said Dick DeGuerin. “It was her dream home.”

If convicted of a first-degree felony, Medina faces punishment ranging from probation to life in prison. A state jail felony carries a maximum punishment of two years behind bars.

David Medina's attorney, Terry Yates, said the Republican justice was pleased that he was not indicted but remains concerned for his family and saddened by the charge.
Francisca Medina is expected to surrender and post bond.

On Jan. 17, a grand jury indicted Francisca Medina on an arson charge and David Medina on a charge of tampering with a document.

Hours after the indictment came, then-Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal said the charges would be dismissed because of “insufficient evidence.”

Arson investigators had determined the fire was deliberately set and caused almost $1million worth of damage to three homes in the Olde Oaks neighborhood in Spring.
Prosecutor Wisner, who dismissed the January indictments, said there has been substantial progress in the investigation in the past few months.

“The only thing that's changed is that we've had an opportunity to complete the investigation,” Wisner said. “We reached the point where we feel comfortable in going forward.”

He said he would not have been comfortable seeking an indictment in January, when the first grand jury handed up the indictments despite objections from the district attorney's office.

Shortly after Rosenthal moved to dismiss the indictments, two grand jury members publicly denounced his unwillingness to prosecute, a rare move for a group whose actions are typically secret. They alleged that Rosenthal's actions were politically motivated.