A report released by the Texas sheriff’s department Tuesday revealed new information surrounding the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, whose body was found in bed Feb. 13 at the Cibolo Creek Ranch in the Big Bend region south of Marfa, Texas.
The report obtained by the Washington Post stated that the 79-year-old justice's body was found in bed with a pillowcase over his eyes, but the sheriff's office said it not appear that pillowcase interfered with his ability to breathe. The office also noted there was a breathing apparatus switched off on the table next to his bed.
Information in the report brought some clarity to comments John Poindexter, the owner of the ranch, who found Scalia's body, made to the San Antonio Express-News. Poindexter's comment that the justice was found with "a pillow over his head" sparked a wave of speculation and conspiracy theories.
According to the sheriff's report, the Feb. 13 morning when Scalia's body was found, unfolded as the following: Around 12:14 p.m. local time, Poindexter called Presidio Country Sheriff's Office to report a death, but did not identify Scalia. Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez took the call.
"[Poindexter] then stated to me that this death was way beyond my authority and that it should go the Feds (USMS),” Dominguez said in the report. “I then replied it doesn’t matter who it is, it was still under my jurisdiction.”
Remembering Justice Antonin Scalia: 1936-2016.https://t.co/jV5HB3NgrV
— Senate Republicans (@Senate_GOPs) February 23, 2016
The report also identified the friend who had traveled to the ranch with Scalia as Allen Foster, a prominent Washington lawyer, who has been on cases that appeared before the Supreme Court. In the report, Poindexter said Scalia traveled to the ranch Feb. 12 to go hunting.
Questions have also surrounded Scalia's death because of the lack of an autopsy. "I respected the wishes of the Scalia family. ... I did this based upon credible reports to me from law enforcement and from Justice Scalia's personal physician," Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara said in a statement.
Scalia had coronary artery disease, diabetes and suffered from obesity, according to a letter from his doctor, the Associated Press reported. He was also a smoker.
Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan and took his seat on the bench Sept. 26, 1986. He was the first Italian-American justice.