But two days after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly in remote West Texas, a former D.C. homicide commander is raising questions about how the death was handled by local and federal authorities.
“As a former homicide commander, I am stunned that no autopsy was ordered for Justice Scalia,” William O. Ritchie, former head of criminal investigations for D.C. police, wrote in a post on Facebook on Sunday.
Scalia was found dead in his room at a luxury hunting resort in the state’s Big Bend region by the resort’s owner. It took hours for authorities to find a justice of the peace. When they did, Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara pronounced Scalia dead of natural causes without seeing the body — which is permissible under Texas law — and without ordering an autopsy.
On Sunday, the U.S. Marshals Service, which provides security for Supreme Court justices, said that Scalia had declined a security detail while at the ranch, so marshals were not present when he died. When the marshals were notified, deputy marshals from the Western District of Texas went to the scene, the service said in a statement.
Guevara said she declared Scalia dead based on information from law enforcement officials on the scene, who assured her that “there were no signs of foul play.” She also spoke to Scalia’s doctor, who told her that the justice had been to see him Wednesday and Thursday last week for a shoulder injury and that he had ordered an MRI for Scalia, according to WFAA-TV in Dallas. The 79-year-old justice also suffered from several chronic conditions, Guevara said. She said she was awaiting a statement from the physician to complete Scalia’s death certificate.
The manager of the El Paso funeral home that handled Scalia’s body said Scalia’s family insisted on not having an autopsy done. But the decision has spawned a host of conspiracy theories online, as well as sceptical questions from law enforcement experts such as Ritchie.
“You have a Supreme Court Justice who died, not in attendance of a physician,” he wrote. “You have a non-homicide trained US Marshal tell the justice of peace that no foul play was observed. You have a justice of the peace pronounce death while not being on the scene and without any medical training opining that the justice died of a heart attack. What medical proof exists of a myocardial Infarction? Why not a cerebral hemorrhage?”
In an interview with The Washington Post, Guevara has said she rebutted a report by a Dallas TV station that Scalia had died of “myocardial infarction.” She said she meant only that his heart had stopped.
“Did the US Marshal check for petechial hemorrhage in his eyes or under his lips that would have suggested suffocation? Did the US Marshal smell his breath for any unusual odor that might suggest poisoning? My gut tells me there is something fishy going on in Texas.”
A spokesman for the marshals service said Monday that the marshals did not make a formal determination of death. He directed questions to the county judge who made the call. Scalia’s physician, Brian Monahan, is a U.S. Navy rear admiral and the attending physician for the U.S. Congress and Supreme Court. He declined to comment on Scalia’s health when reached by telephone Monday at his home in Maryland.
“Patient confidentiality forbids me to make any comment on the subject,” he said. When asked whether he planned to make public the statement he’s preparing for Guevara, Monahan repeated the same statement and hung up on a reporter.
Washington (CNN): Justice Antonin Scalia's death immediately triggered a monumental election-year battle in Washington over whether President Barack Obama should choose a successor who could tilt the Supreme Court toward liberals.
Within two hours of Scalia's death being reported, presidential candidates along with Republican and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill were feuding over whether Obama should appoint a replacement for the eloquent and outspoken Scalia or wait for the next administration to make a decision. The battle lines underscored the huge political stakes in the 2016 election, which could cement the ideological balance of the court for years to come.
Obama said Saturday he would nominate a successor "in due time," but Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insisted the next administration should make the appointment.
"The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice," the Kentucky Republican said. "Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President." But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat, issued a scathing statement, previewing the heated fight ahead.
"The President can and should send the Senate a nominee right away," Reid said. "With so many important issues pending before the Supreme Court, the Senate has a responsibility to fill vacancies as soon as possible. It would be unprecedented in recent history for the Supreme Court to go a year with a vacant seat. Failing to fill this vacancy would be a shameful abdication of one of the Senate's most essential Constitutional responsibilities."
After observing a moment of silence to honor Scalia, the GOP candidates, who clashed in South Carolina, seized on his death to draw battle lines in the debate over his successor. "I do not believe the President should appoint someone," Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said, warning that Obama would "ram down our throat a liberal justice." Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a former Supreme Court clerk, warned: "We are one justice away from a Supreme Court that would undermine the religious liberty of millions of Americans."
"The Senate needs to stand strong and say, 'We're not going to give up the U.S. Supreme Court for a generation by allowing Barack Obama to make one more liberal appointee,'" Cruz said.
Republican front-runner Donald Trump said he was sure that Obama would not listen to Republicans and would go ahead and name a nominee, adding "I think it's up to Mitch McConnell, and everybody else to stop it. It's called delay, delay, delay."
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton lined up with the Democratic leaders in Congress to seize on a issue that will now be at the center of her campaign. "Barack Obama is President of the United States until January 20, 2017. That is a fact, my friends, whether the Republicans like it or not. Elections have consequences. The President has a responsibility to nominate a new justice and the Senate has a responsibility to vote," Clinton said during a visit in Denver.
Clinton's Democratic rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, also issued a statement that offered sympathy while acknowledging philosophical differences. He did not however weigh in on the issue of the timing of a nomination. "While I differed with Justice Scalia's views and jurisprudence, he was a brilliant, colorful and outspoken member of the Supreme Court. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his colleagues on the court who mourn his passing."
Scalia, who was found dead Saturday, was one of the most influential conservative justices in history and forged a decades-long legacy that prolonged Ronald Reagan's conservative revolution, long after the President who nominated him left office.
Scalia was also seen as a hugely powerful foe by liberal groups owing to his positions on issues like abortion and the Second Amendment, and those groups will pile enormous pressure on Obama to send a liberal justice to the court before he leaves office.
MARFA, Texas (AP) — A Texas judge says she initially determined that an autopsy should be conducted on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. But Judge Cinderela Guevara says she changed her mind after speaking with Scalia's doctor -- who confirmed that the justice had a history of heart trouble and other illnesses.
The judge says that medical history, and a lack of any signs of foul play, meant the justice likely died of natural causes and that no autopsy would be necessary. Scalia was found dead in his room at a West Texas resort ranch Saturday morning. He was 79.
A manager at a Texas funeral home says Scalia's family didn't think a private autopsy was necessary, and requested that his remains be returned to Washington as soon as possible. The owner of Cibolo Creek Ranch near Marfa, where Scalia died, said the justice seemed his usual self at dinner the night before he was found "in complete repose" in his room. John Poindexter told reporters Scalia was part of a group of about 35 weekend guests. He arrived Friday around noon.
The world might never know exactly what killed U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, who died at a luxury ranch in West Texas on Saturday. Presidio County judge Cinderela Guevara, a local justice of the peace, told the Associated Press that she declared the 79-year-old dead of "natural causes" without seeing the body herself, having "consulted with Scalia's personal physician and sheriff's investigators, who said there were no signs of foul play."
Guevara told the Washington Post that Scalia didn't have a heart attack, as some reports had claimed. She also said that Scalia's doctor told her that the justice "suffered from a host of chronic conditions." She said, "He was having health issues."
Scalia's body was found by Cibolo Creek Ranch owner John Poindexter and a friend. "We discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head. His bed clothes were unwrinkled," Poindexter told the San Antionio Express-News. "He was lying very restfully. It looked like he had not quite awakened from a nap." Poindexter said Scalia, who was on the property for a hunting trip, seemed "entirely natural and normal" on the evening preceding his death.
A WHISTLEBLOWER has claimed the CIA developed a "heart attack gun" laced with deadly poison to carry out assassinations. The pistol reportedly shoots a dart – which can cause a heart attack once it enters the bloodstream – into its victims.
It can pierce through clothing leaves no signs of impact on the skin except a small red dot, according to insiders. The weapon, a modified Colt 1911, is believed to have been mentioned during the infamous Church Committee probe into the CIA in 1975.
Whistleblower Mary Embree said: "The poison was frozen into some sort of dart and then it was shot at very high speed into the person. "When it reached the person it would melt inside them, and there would be a tiny red dot on their body, which was hard to detect. "There wouldn't be a needle or anything like that left in the person."
Footage from the the probe in 1975 has recently gone viral after being shared by conspiracy theorists. In the video, Senator Frank Church asks CIA director William Colby asked: "Does this pistol fire the dart?"
He replies: "Yes, it does, Mr Chairman, and a special one was developed which, potentially would be able to enter the target without perception." Colby also reveals the toxin would not appear in an autopsy – so there would be "no way of perceiving that the target was hit".
(Tea Party) – ScaliaGate is becoming more than just unfortunate timing of the death of America’s greatest Supreme Court justice, but instead is evolving into a constitutional crisis and possibly even a criminal investigation.
As it turns out, the Tea Party Research Team has discovered DISTURBING facts regarding the untimely death of Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia. Gets this, in a confidential interview, a retired and fully credentialed U.S. Army Intelligence officer, holding top-secret clearance having worked with Army intelligence for over eight years, has made some shocking statements about the unusual circumstances surrounding the death of Justice Scalia.
The Tea Party will refer to this credible individual as ‘Starman’. Starman stated:
“The circumstances surrounding Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia’s death are growing more suspicious by the minute. The story appears to keep changing, with initial reports that Scalia had died of a heart attack later denied.”
He also goes on to question why no autopsy was performed, and specifically why Scalia’s body was quickly embalmed, thereby “erasing any chances for the coroner to conduct efficient toxicology tests.”
Impossible? The first report was that Scalia suffered a fatal heart attack, but that report was later denied. Then the family demanded an immediate autopsy with quick embalming, which is also highly unusual. It is a long-held fact that embalming fluid usually erases any chances of having an accurate toxicology findings issued.
But it doesn’t end there. Former head of criminal investigations of the DC police William O. Ritchie stated: “I am stunned that no autopsy was ordered for Justice Scalia.” Richie went on to say: “…how can the Marshall say without a thorough post mortem that he was not injected with an illegal substance that would simulate a heart attack.”
Then there’s the extremely disturbing fact that Scalia was found with a pillow over his head, as if the telegraph a message from the Godfather that ‘this could be you and we’ve taken care business.’
To top it off, important facts seem to be missing and doesn’t appear in any report. A pillow was over the face of Justice Scalia, but no mention that he was in bed! Isn’t it odd that a man puts a pillow over his face and dies from natural causes… and then falls to the ground with that pillow still over his face? How odd. The real kicker is that the untimely death of Justice Scalia was just DAYS before important cases were to be decided by the court that he serves on.
Tea Party Research Team has some difficult questions to ask:
Why didn’t the U.S. Marshal check for a petechial hemorrhage in his eyes and under his lips? If hemorrhages of this sort would’ve been discovered it would suggest suffocation.
Why didn’t the U.S. Marshal refuse to smell Scalia’s mouth for any unusual odor? Some poisons carry a unique odor that can be readily identifiable, which could suggest poisoning.
Why wasn’t the pillow or any of Scala’s clothing seized as evidence and subjected to a thorough forensic exam searching for DNA other than Scalia’s DNA? Any extraneous DNA could indicate the presence of another person who came into direct contact with the pillow or any of Scalia’s clothing… or was he found nude?
Think about it, if Scalia was assassinated who would have the most to gain? No doubt someone that either had a vendetta against Justice Scalia or someone who wanted Scalia out of the way so Obama could exercise a ‘Recess Appointment’ for Scalia’s replacement.
Suppose Scalia lived, he would have decided the following big cases:
One person, one vote
But then again, are these cases so important someone would resorted to assassination? The Tea Party hopes not, but is keeping an open mind and ongoing research.