Investigators said they considered the fire as incendiary after ruling out all other accidental causes, such as an electrical short, that could have ignited the June 28 blaze that resulted in about $900,000 in damages to Medina’s Spring-area home….
Members of Medina’s family have been questioned during the investigation. His wife and one of his children were the only people in the home that night, arson officers said.
“They have been cooperative throughout the interview process,” said Dan Given, chief investigator with the fire marshal’s office.
At this point, there are no charges pending in the case, officials said.
“This is an active and ongoing investigation,” said Harris County Fire Marshal Mike Montgomery.
Nathan Green, a fire marshal investigator on the case, had earlier said six “persons of interest,” all of whom are Medina family members or friends, have been identified in the investigation. He had said there were inconsistencies in Medina’s and his wife’s accounts of where he was the night of the fire. She was at home.
Contacted by telephone on Tuesday, Medina said he would not comment about his whereabouts that night.
More after the jump.
Justice Medina was apparently not aware that family and friends were being considered “persons of interest”:
“I was not aware. … That’s quite startling,” Medina said, later adding that he had “no idea” if he knew anyone who might have set the house on fire.
He then said, “I’m not going to comment further.”
According to the Houston Chronicle article, the fire is being considered “suspicious” because of the discovery of the presence of an accelerant and because of a foreclosure filing on the home in 2006.
Burning it down for the insurance apparently wouldn’t work for Medina, though, because he apparently doesn’t have any insurance for the home:
He said Medina did not have an insurance policy on the home and that the justice, appointed to the Texas Supreme Court in 2004 by Gov. Rick Perry, was surprised when he learned a policy had lapsed.
Though if he was “surprised” that the policy had lapsed, it’s still possible he set the fire expecting to collect on insurance.
We know that state court judges sometimes complain about their salaries, but we hope that things aren’t bad enough for Justice Medina to resort to this.
Incidentally, Medina is also a non-top-tier wonder, graduating from Tier 4 South Texas.
Officials: Medina house fire was intentionally set [Houston Chronicle]