TX Supreme Ct. judge proclaims his innocence

January 18, 2008 4:40:40 PM PST
A state Supreme Court judge and his wife are no longer facing charges, just one day after being indicted. Less than 24 hours after state Supreme Court Justice David Medina and his wife were indicted for an arson fire that destroyed their home. A judge has dismissed the charges against them.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office asked the judge to dismiss the charges against Medina and his wife, saying there was not enough evidence to get a conviction. In fact, the DA claims there's not enough evidence for the indictment that was handed down by the grand jury yesterday. So what went wrong?

Justice Medina says he can't make it any clearer.

"I have always maintained myself and my family's innocence," he said Friday. "We are innocent."

He denies having any involvement in a fire that destroyed his Spring home and damaged two others last summer.

"I do not know Mr. (District Attorney Chuck) Rosenthal personally, nor do I have any dealings with him. We look forward to putting this behind us and moving on with our lives," he said.

Justice Medina would not answer questions about the case or the last 24 hours, in which he and his wife were indicted by a grand jury and then had the charges dropped by prosecutors.

"I just want to thank the grand jury for their service and they're free to criticize me as much as they want," said prosecutor Vic Wisner.

"There's just not evidence out there to indicate they're guilty in any form or fashion," said Medina's attorney, Terry Yates.

Medina's attorney is going as far as to ask for contempt of court charges against two grand jurors who chose to hand out the indictments and then speak publicly about how they thought prosecutors are playing favorites.

"Obviously, the political ploy by Mr. (Robert) Ryan and Mr. (Jeffrey) Dorrell, and the way they presented themselves this morning shows that over the last day or so," said Yates.

Dorrell is one of the grand jurors who investigated the case for three months.

"I don't know what else to believe other than either some pressure was being applied politically from Austin or possibly a lame duck district attorney who's going to be needing a job," said Dorrell.

For its part, the fire marshal's office is deferring all questions about its investigation to the district attorney's office. The case remains open.

The judge says he'll stay on the job. He says he just want to put this behind him. Both sides, however, are talking politics. One side says the indictment itself was political. The other says getting it dismissed was pure politics.

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