Report: Scalia cause of death to be ruled a heart attack

The Supreme Court Justice was pronounced dead over the phone, and the cause was determined based on his previous medical records.
By Stephen Feller  |  Feb. 14, 2016 at 6:29 PM
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MARFA, Texas, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's cause of death will be be officially listed as myocardial infarction, or heart attack, according to the Texas judge who declared him dead.

Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara told WFAA-TV that Scalia died in his sleep, and the cause of death was determined to be a heart attack based on conversations with his physicians about his health when he died.

Scalia was found dead in his suite at the Cibolo Creek Ranch at 1:52 P.M. on February 13, with officers calling Guevara because of justices of the peace in the county are out of town.

Scalia was found in his room, in his pajamas, after the concerned owner of the ranch, John Poindexter, checked on him after he did not come downstairs for breakfast.

"Everything was in perfect order. He was in his pajamas, peacefully, in bed," Poindexter told the Washington Post, adding Scalia's "behavior was entirely natural and normal" from the time he got to the ranch until he was last seen after dinner on February 12.

Guevara said she wanted to verify the details of how Scalia was found, as well as his medical condition, after being told she did not need to come to the ranch to see his body, but that police needed to verify whether an autopsy would be necessary.

"As part of my investigation one of the things I did ask the sheriff and the U.S. Marshal: 'Were there any signs of foul play?'" Guevara told WFAA. "And they said, 'Absolutely not.' At that time, I still wanted to be careful and asked them if [Scalia's] physician would call me."

Scalia had several chronic ailments, and had seen his doctor on Wednesday and Thursday before he died because of an MRI taken for a should injury.

Scalia's body was taken to the Sunset Funeral Home in El Paso and is under guard by six law enforcement officials, including United States marshals and Texas State Troopers. The justice's family did not request an autopsy, and the body is expected to prepared for the funeral and taken back to Washington, D.C., on Monday, the Washington Post reported.

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