Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina and his wife Fran Medina have been indicted by a Houston grand jury in connection to the alleged arson in June at their home. Justice Medina is charged with the arson and his wife with tampering of evidence. What is remarkable is that, despite the indictments, Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal indicated that he may not prosecuted due to insufficiency of evidence – a claim that will likely raise concerns over special treatment by the jurist.
Rosenthal stated “We don’t feel like there’s sufficient evidence to proceed.”
The fire destroyed the 5,000-square-foot house. It also destroyed a neighbor’s home and damaged the home of a third neighbor. A prosecutor has an ethical obligation not to prosecute individuals with the evidence is insufficient and Texas prosecutors have often been criticize for prosecuting without using such discretion in past cases.
Yet, fire experts found that arson was behind the fire. The Dallas Morning News also reports:
Harris County fire officials believe the June blaze, which destroyed the Medina home and a neighbor’s house and did nearly $1 million in damage, was intentionally set. Their initial investigation focused on six people close to the justice, and was fueled by a trail of financial troubles for Mr. Medina’s family.
In 2004, the Medinas failed to pay nearly $10,000 in county and school district taxes, resulting in a lien on their home. A year later, a mortgage company attempted to seize the couple’s home, claiming they had not made a payment in four months. The suit was resolved out of court.
The Medinas’ home insurance policy had lapsed because of unpaid premiums.