A former homicide commander from Washington, DC has said that something “fishy” is going on surrounding the death of US Supreme Justice Antonin Scalia.
Conspiracy theories about the murder of Scalia have gone viral after it emerged the judge had been found dead in his home with a pillow covering his face, with some suggesting President Obama to be responsible for his death.
William O. Richie, a former head of criminal investigations in the capital’s police department, has raised serious questions in the unusual way authorities handled the 79-year-old’s death over the weekend.
Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara announced the veteran jurist died of natural causes, without seeing the body and without ordering an autopsy.
Scalia’s personal doctor, Brian Monahan, has revealed he had a history of heart problems, high blood pressure and had been too weak to undergo a recent surgery.
But it didn’t stop a flurry of conspiracy theories about what happened, including a scathing account by Ritchie.
According to the Washington Post, he wrote: ‘You have a Supreme Court Justice who died, not in attendance of a physician,
‘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.
He also raised concerns about the actions of the U.S. Marshal who called Guevara to report the judge’s death.
‘How can the Marshal say, without a thorough post mortem, that he was not injected with an illegal substance that would simulate a heart attack,’ he added.
‘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 Marshal service told the Washington Post the officer did not give a determination of death.
Monahan would not comment on the circumstances surrounding his patient’s death because of confidentiality.
The 79-year-old, who sat on the Supreme Court bench for 20 years, was found dead at a ranch in Texas during a retreat with friends and admirers.
John Poindexter, who found the Justice lifeless in his room in the El Presidente suite at the Cibolo Creek Ranch in Texas, said Scalia looked peaceful.
‘We discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head. His bed clothes were unwrinkled. He was lying very restfully,’ Poindexter, the owner of the ranch, said.
Poindexter first went to Scalia’s room at 8.30am on Saturday, but the door was locked and his knocks went unanswered.
He returned three hours later with a friend of Scalia’s, who had come with him from Washington DC to the ranch.
Poindexter said Scalia was ‘stone cold’ and did not have a pulse. After the owner and Scalia’s friend called 911, local authorities and several US Marshals arrived at the ranch.
‘The judge…was in complete repose. He was very peaceful in the bed,’ Poindexter told NBC News.
‘He had obviously passed away with no difficulty at all in the middle of the night.’
‘Among the most commonly said things yesterday was, if this had to happen, and we’re really sad that it did, but if it had to happen, it happened in the very best of circumstances.
‘He seemed to enjoy himself greatly.’
Scalia arrived at the ranch, which is south of Marfa, Texas, around noon on Friday. Poindexter said the judge had a ‘jolly lunch’ and then observed as some of the guests hunted quail.
At dinner that night Scalia was his ‘usual, personal self’ but seemed tired and at about 9pm said he wanted to get some sleep after ‘a long day and a long week’, Poindexter told My San Antonio.
Scalia’s personal physician and sheriff’s investigators said there were so signs of foul play and concluded he had died of natural causes.
Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara, who pronounced Scalia dead, said his death certificate will say the cause of death was natural and that he died of a heart attack, she told ABC News.
She said Scalia’s doctor in Washington DC told her the Justice had been sick last week but was at the office Wednesday and Thursday before departing for his quail hunting trip on Friday.
Guevara was out of town and said she planned to drive to the ranch but was told by a US Marshal, who was with Scalia’s body, that it was unnecessary to do so.
She asked the US Marshals if there were any signs of foul play and they assured her ‘absolutely not’, according to The Washington Post.
Guevara then talked to Scalia’s personal physician in DC before she officially pronounced him dead and declined to order an inquest.
Under Texas law it is legal for a justice of the peace to declare someone dead without seeing the body.
US marshals accompanied a hearse carrying Scalia’s body to the airport, where it was then transported to a private plane that departed for Virginia around 8pm.
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