July 23, 2018

Perry’s general counsel benefitted from experts in his own arson-related case


October 15, 2009

Article Excerpts:

The governor’s general counsel, David Medina, was subsequently appointed to the Texas Supreme Court. In a bizarre turn, Medina and his wife were indicted in 2007 in their own arson-related case. They were accused of tampering with evidence in a fire at their home. The Medinas hired experts who found that the arson investigation was flawed and they were cleared of all charges.

Says Smith:  
The parallel is incredible, really. The indictment against Francisca Medina was dismissed because independent experts said the fire could have been started by faulty wiring. Willingham was executed after Perry’s office rejected an independent expert who said the fire that killed the Willingham children was probably not arson, but caused by faulty wiring.

Texas Judge and Wife Excape Arson Charges – Again

August 30, 2009


Article Excerpts:

The fire burned their house down completely and caused damages to two of their neighbors’ homes as well.  It was the second time in ten years that a suspicious fire burned down their home, both times starting in the garage.

Records show signs of trouble in Medina finances

Signs of trouble in Medina finances
Records show judge tapped all his home’s equity

January 31, 2008

Records show signs of trouble in Medina finances

Article Excerpts:

One of  Medina’s neighbors, Georgann  Srock, told the Chronicle that Medina had told her shortly before the fire that he and his wife were preparing to put the home on the market. A sale anywhere near $360,000 might have been a challenge, especially given that a 4,000-square-foot home across the street was listed recently at $174,900.After refinancing for the last time — and struggling to meet the higher note — Medina began to look for other sources of money.   He sold 110 acres of land in Gonzales County in 2004 and 2006.   He reported selling both at a loss.

He also began to draw reimbursement from campaign funds for mileage driven between his Houston home and Austin. From 2005 through 2007, he collected almost $57,000. The Texas Ethics Commission has previously ruled that mileage reimbursement from campaign funds for commuting amounts to using that money for personal benefit, a violation of state law.

Medina grand jurors want to offer evidence to new panel

Jurors disbanded in Medina case want to offer evidence


January 23, 2008

Should any of the former jurors appear before the new grand jury, they cannot divulge anything they heard before their original term ended.

State District Judge Jim Wallace said the grand jurors aren’t legally obligated to remain silent about what they heard after Nov. 2, but asked them to do so.

Legally Speaking: A Judicial Career Up in Flames? The Strange Case of David Medina


January 28, 2008

Article Excerpts

 University of Texas Law School professor and criminal law expert Steven Goode says that while a prosecutor certainly has discretion not to pursue a case, he finds it “very unusual for a prosecutor to decide so soon to seek dismissal of the charges in a well-publicized case.”

Jury blocked from reindicting a Justice

January 23, 2008


Article Excerpts:

At a news conference later, 8 of the grand jury’s 12 members called the district attorney’s handling of the case arrogant and incompetent, The Associated Press reported. “We thought we were doing the right thing,” said one of them, Shannon Burns, “and someone puts a big wall up in front of you and doesn’t let you do what you feel is right.

Judge Questions Decision to Quash Indictments of Texas Supreme Court Justice and Wife; Criticizes Actions of Prosecutors as Premature and Careless

January 23, 2008


Article Excerpts:

While state Judge Jim Wallace agreed to the prosecutor’s demand to toss out the indictments, he strongly criticized both the decision and the competence of the prosecutors — voicing obvious questions over why prosecutors would seek an indictment over months only to quash those indictments when they are handed down by a grand jury.

Juror in Medina case speaks out again


January 20, 2008

[Terry Yates referencing grand jury and case]:  “It was predetermined in the sense that there was not sufficient evidence that Judge Medina did anything wrong and for them to indict, this case anyway, it just shows they had an agenda.”

Article Excerpts:

“I love grand juries. I think they do a tremendous job. They have a tremendous function in the system,” said Yates. “It was predetermined in the sense that there was not sufficient evidence that Judge Medina did anything wrong and for them to indict, this case anyway, it just shows they had an agenda.”

Ryan writes the following:

“Comments like yours serve only to impugn the integrity of the twelve citizens of Harris County who have given up considerable amounts of their time to ensure justice is done.”

“These are not twelve hicks from Mayberry USA who just rode into town on the turnip wagon.”

Prosecutor Quashes Charges Against Judge

January 19, 2008


Article Excerpts:

Mr. Ryan said that the grand jury was experienced, with two lawyers and three police officers, and that at least half the members had been grand jurors multiple times.

“We’ve been to the rodeo before,” he said. “I know the system.”

He said: “My antennae were raised when I read in The Houston Chronicle that Chuck Rosenthal called Justice Medina and told him to appear before the grand jury, but that he would not be a target. It wasn’t a couple weeks later that Mr. Wisner suddenly cooled and said, ‘I don’t think you got anything.’ ”
Mr. Dorrell said the panel’s feeling was “if the D.A. does not have enough evidence, get some more.”

Mr. Ryan said, “We asked for things they never produced.”

On Thursday, he continued, Mr. Wisner sought to block a vote and “we met over his objection.”

The prosecutor told them, he said: “ ‘Don’t bother to bring an indictment. We’re going to “nolo” it.’ ”

They sent Mr. Wisner out of the room and deliberated, Mr. Ryan recounted, and called him back with instructions to draw up two indictments.

“He said, ‘I will not,’ ” Mr. Ryan added. “We said, ‘Get your boss.’ He slammed the door.”

(source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/19/us/19texas.html?pagewanted=print)

Medina attorney asks judge to sanction 2 grand jurors


Jauary 18, 2008

Article Excerpts:

[Referencing an earlier Medina quote] He said mortgage insurance paid off his note after the fire. Yates did not respond to requests for more information about the insurance claim.

Typically, if a borrower fails to insure a home, the lender will take out its own “forced place” insurance policy that covers only its interest and not any owner equity, contents or liability.