Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Discrepancy in Presidio Sheriff's report on Scalia By Wayne Madsen Report

 Discrepancy in Presidio Sheriff's report on Scalia By Wayne Madsen Report
On February 23,Presidio County, Texas Sheriff Danny Doinguez released his sheriff's report on the unattended death of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. The report contains a major discrepancy on how Scalia's body was transported from the Cibolo Creek Ranch to the Sunset Funeral Home in El Paso, where it was embalmed. Scalia's body was found in his bed at the ranch on the morning of February 13 after he flew by private plane into the ranch's airport, arriving around noon on February 12.

Dominguez noted in his report noted that a pillow partially covered Scalia's eyes but that it “did not seem to have inhibited Scalia’s breathing.” No autopsy was performed on Scalia's body nor did a qualified medical professional conduct an inquest, which is required under Texas state law. Presidio County District Attorney Rod Ponton claimed that there was nothing suspicious about Scalia's death.

News reports stated that the Alpine Funeral Home in Alpine, Texas was notified that a hearse was needed to transport Scalia's body to the Sunset Funeral Home in El Paso for embalming before being flown back to Washington, DC. However, Dominguez's report states that Scalia's body was transported to El Paso by a hearse sent by the Sunset Funeral Home.

Presidio County judge Cinderela Guevara pronounced Scalia dead over a telephone call with Dominguez, who was at the ranch, at 1:52 pm on February 13. Sarah Vasquez, a reporter for theBig Bend Sentinel, the local newspaper with which Dominguez and the county government has a close relationship, wrote in the February 13 issue that "Alpine Memorial Funeral Home was called to scene" of Scalia's death. But the Sheriff's report states that "at approximately 11:30 pm the El Paso Funeral Home arrived at the ranch to retrieve Scalia's body, and return to the funeral home." It adds, "at approximately 12:00 am (midnight) the funeral home departed the premises with Scalia's body," along with U.S. Marshals and Dominguez. The procession of the hearse and the marshals continued to El Paso, a three hour drive, after arriving in Marfa. Texas Department of Public Safety vehicles accompanied the procession to El Paso. The same Big Bend Sentinel report stated, that Scalia's body was to be "flown to a funeral home in El Paso per the family’s request." The Cibolo Creek Ranch airport can accommodate Gulfstream and Lear jets. If Scalia's body was to be flown anywhere, it could just have easily been flown back to Washington, DC directly from the ranch's airport.

WFAA/Associated Press reported on February 14 that "a funeral home in neighboring Alpine was called to come collect the justice’s remains, which were then transported to El Paso." It is noteworthy that Marfa, which is closer to the ranch than Alpine, also has a funeral home that could have accommodated the needs of the Scalia family, yet it was not used.

The San Antonio Express-News carried a photograph of the Alpine Funeral Home Cadillac hearse leaving the Cibolo Creek Ranch at around 5:00 pm on February 13. The photograph is clearly taken during daylight hours. However, the Sheriff's report states that the El Paso Funeral Home hearse left around midnight on the 13th. Media reports had the hearse arriving at the El Paso funeral home around 2:30 am on February 13th. Why the discrepancy? The Los Angeles Timeslater reported that George Van Etten, the ranch's property manager who works for owner John B. Poindexter, decided to use the Alpine Funeral Home hearse as a decoy to confuse the press. But why would Scalia's body be kept at the ranch for over six hours in order to confuse the press? Only the San Antonio Express-News had a crew outside the ranch's main gate. And why the cloak-and-dagger involved in transporting Scalia's body to El Paso if he died of a heart attack from natural causes?

Alpine Funeral Home hearse leaving Cibolo Creek Ranch at 5:00 pm on February 13. This hearse reportedly did not contain Scalia's body.

The Sheriff's report also identifies, for the first time, the close friend who traveled with Scalia from Washington to the ranch. His name is Allen Foster. Scalia has a friend in Washington named C. Allen Foster, a noted trial lawyer who has argued cases before the Supreme Court.