See Inside Luxury Suite Where Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Spent His Final Hours
New images show the room where Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead on Saturday.
New footage shows the spacious suite where U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead on Saturday.
The 79-year-old’s body was discovered on his bed at Cibolo Creek Ranch, a pricey hunting resort in rural Texas near the Mexican border, on Saturday.
Scalia arrived at the ranch on a private charter jet around noon on Friday as part of a group of 35 guests. That afternoon, they took part in a quail hunt.
According to the owner of the ranch, wealthy businessman John Poindexter, Scalia "did not exert himself" during the hunt.
Investigators say Scalia later attended a private party with other guests where his mood was described as "animated and engaged."
"He was seated near me and I had a chance to observe him," Poindexter said. "He was very entertaining. But about 9 p.m. he said, 'It's been a long day and a long week, I want to get some sleep.'"
There was no sign anything was wrong, staff said.
"He had a great time," said property manager George Van Etten. "In fact when he turned in he was looking forward to the next day's activities."
But the next morning, when Scalia's host knocked on the door of his suite, there was no response.
The group left on another hunt but when they returned, there was still no sign of him. When he failed to open his door again, they went inside and found him on the bed in his pajamas.
"We discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head. His bed clothes were unwrinkled," said Poindexter. "He was lying very restfully. It looked like he had not quite awakened from a nap."
He was cold and had no pulse, according to reports.
Emergency personnel and the U.S. Marshall’s service, which provides security for the Supreme Court justices, was called to the scene.
In a move that has some raising questions, Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara pronounced Scalia dead from natural causes even though she reportedly did not see his body. However, under Texas law it is permissible for a judge to declare a person dead without seeing the body.
Scalia’s doctor reportedly said the Justice suffered from several chronic but undisclosed ailments.
Scalia's family didn't think a private autopsy was necessary and requested his remains be flown home as soon as possible, said Chris Lujan, a manager for Sunset Funeral Homes, the Associated Press reported.
His body was taken to an El Paso airport Sunday afternoon and was being flown to Virginia.
"It was a very sober mood," Van Etten added. "We lost a great jurist and a great American."
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