May 21, 2008
Mrs. Medina pleads not guilty

Francisca Medina, wife of Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina, pleaded not guilty to an arson charge in the matter of the fire that destroyed their house.

Francisca Medina is charged with first-degree felony arson and first-degree felony criminal mischief, as well as a state-jail felony charge of criminal mischief in connection with a fire that burned down the couple's Spring home last summer.

She is free on a total of $42,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court again on June 24, according to court staff.

If convicted of a first-degree felony, Medina faces a sentence ranging from probation to life in prison. A state-jail felony carries a maximum punishment of two years behind bars.

I suppose this is as good a time as any to mention that many arson convictions in years past were based on investigative methods that have since been discredited. The state of the art in arson investigation is much better now than it once was, but it's useful to remind oneself every now and then that real life is not like "CSI". This is not meant as a judgment of the merits of the case against Mrs. Medina; I have no way of evaluating the evidence against her. I just thought it was worth bringing up.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 21, 2008 to Crime and Punishment