Grand jury fallout continues

January 23, 2008 5:54:32 AM PST
A Harris County grand jury will pick up a new case this morning, courtesy of a paperwork mistake and the other grand jury which was on the case is not happy about it.The mistake was revealed yesterday, as controversy swirled around Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina. His wife was accused of starting a fire at Medina's home last June, and Medina was accused of tampering with evidence.

Several grand jurors have come forward, upset that the indictments they returned against Medina and his wife were dismissed.

Three months of grand jury work in Harris County is now essentially meaningless. It was meaningless because the Harris County DA's office failed to file the proper paperwork to extend the grand jury.

So now, 32 indictments will have to be re-addressed. Among them, a multi-million dollar mortgage scam case, involving 37 people and 17 properties across the county.

But it is the Medina grand jury that is causing such an uproar. Presiding Judge Jim Wallace chided the DA's office for not supporting the case against Justice Medina and his wife. And because of the disbanded grand jury panel, even the grand jurors themselves are disgusted.

"If I was a criminal defense attorney, I would have all of my clients' files right now, and I would be double checking everything to do with their indictments, just because it's unlikely that this is the only time it's ever happened," said grand juror Shannon Burns.

An assistant DA will begin damage control in the mortgage fraud case this morning. Twelve people are in custody. The DA's office will file a complaint to keep three of them in jail. He will present the case to another grand jury at 8am.

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