Charges dropped against Texas SC justice's wife

Kathy Woods Aug. 29, 2009, 3:54pm

AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline)-Felony arson criminal mischief charges have dismissed against Francisca Medina, the wife of Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office said Thursday the charges were being dropped due to insufficient evidence. Prosecutors say the charges had to be dropped when the possibility of an electrical fire could not be ruled out.

The charges stemmed from a 2007 fire in the family home. An accelerant was detected at the scene. It was the second fire in the home in 10 years -- both of which originated in the garage.

Initially, both the Supreme Court justice and his wife were indicted but those indictments were thrown out. A separate grand jury later indicted Francisca Medina.

Francisca Medina and her son were the only ones in the home when the fire broke out and both escaped without injury. Two neighboring homes were also damaged in the blaze. The damage was estimated to be nearly $1 million.

Medina's attorney, Dick DeGuerin, told the Houston Chronicle two witnesses said there was no way it was arson.

In June 2006, a mortgage company filed to foreclose on the home but Medina and the mortgage company had reached a settlement in December.

Arson Investigator Nathan Green was quoted as saying the foreclosure filing was a "very, very big red flag," noting insurance premiums had not been paid on the home so it was not covered by an insurance policy. The loan on the house was insured by the finance company.

More News