This isn’t the sort of news that I wanted to write about. In the past few hours, though, I have received several emails and phone calls about it. Before the story broke, I had been working on a normal (some might even say boring) post about a case just argued to the Court. It seemed strange to finish that post today. It also seemed strange that I might wake up tomorrow and write a “weekly orders” post without having at least mentioned today’s story.

As reported on Houston’s KHOU television station here, and in several newspapers a Harris County grand jury handed down an indictment today of Justice David Medina and his wife on charges related to the June 2007 fire that ultimately destroyed his house and damaged some of his neighbors’ houses.

The press reports linked above indicate that the district attorney intends to ask the court to dismiss the charges for lack of evidence. Given other recent press attention focused on that district attorney (see here for a flavor), I suspect that any action his office takes will drawn criticism. Whatever the outcome, this is undeniably a tragic situation for the Medina family.