Grand juror speaks out in Medina case

January 21, 2008 8:35:45 PM PST
The fight over a fire at the home of a Texas Supreme Court justice is taking another turn. We've learned the judge's attorney may ask for the current grand jury to be disbanded. Angry grand jurors have spoken out since the district attorney's office dropped charges against Justice David Medina last week. And now, another juror has something to say.

"I have felt that this was the only right thing to do," said grand juror Joann McCracken.

McCracken is breaking her silence, stepping up to defend her fellow grand jurors.

"These two men are honorable, honest men," she said.

The two men she's talking about are grand jury foreman Bob Ryan and assistant foreman Jeffrey Dorrel. All three sit on the grand jury that lat week indicted Supreme Court Justice David Medina and his wife on charges related to a suspicious fire at their house in June and all three watched in shock, they say, as the district attorney quickly had the case dismissed.

Since then, Ryan and Dorrel have voiced their disgust. McCracken is right there with them.

"It's just devastating when you believe in justice, when you believe in justice across the board," said McCracken."

Justice Medina's attorney, Terry Yates, has accused Ryan and Dorrel of having a political agenda in publicly criticizing the DA's office. Joann says their indictment was not political.

"What political reason could we have? I'm a Republican," she said.

"These other guys claim to be long time Republicans, too," said Yates. "What does that mean?"

As the grand jury plans to reconvene on Wednesday, possibly to re-indict, Yates is checking the law and considering asking a judge tomorrow to disband them.

"If they do plan on reconvening, we're going to look into options to see if we can stop it," said Yates.

Yates believes they have now over-stepped their bounds.

"It makes me not believe in the system," said McCracken. "Prior to this time, I had great faith in the justice system. But it makes me very sad."

McCracken is not only critical of Justice Medina's attorney. She says the prosecutor treated the grand jurors with disrespect by, in her words, acting hysterically, screaming and yelling when he found out about the indictments.

Yates hopes to present legal arguments in this case to a judge regarding this grand jury. We'll be following the latest developments.

The whole case involving judge medina dates back to last June. There was a fire at his Spring-area home. Investigators said arson dogs detected accelerants. Then last Thursday, the grand jury indicted Medina and his wife on charges of tampering and arson. Less than 24 hours later, Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal dropped the charges, saying there was a lack of evidence. That made several of the grand jurors furious. One even wrote an open letter to Medina's attorney, upset by what happened.

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