Local judge disputes decision, says she would have ordered procedure
A Texas judge declined to order an autopsy for Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia after she says she was assured the cause of death was a heart attack.
Speaking with WFAA 8 News, Presidio County Judge Cinderella Guevara says she turned down the procedure Saturday after Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez said there were no signs of foul play.
According to CNN, the Scalia family also made the same decision.
“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?’ And they said, ‘absolutely not.’ At that time, I still wanted to be careful, and asked them if [Scalia’s] physician would call me.”
Guevara stated that Scalia’s doctor had informed her that Scalia had visited him “for a shoulder injury last week” but “also suffered from several chronic ailments.”
“When [the physician] explained [Scalia] had just visited on Wednesday and Thursday and [the doctor] had done an MRI, then I felt comfortable what I knew was going on with him physically,” the judge said.
Guevara, who did not see the body, indicated that Scalia’s death certificate would include myocardial infarction as the official cause of death.
A justice of peace speaking with The Washington Post said she would have undoubtedly ordered an autopsy if in the same position.
“If it had been me . . . I would want to know,” Juanita Bishop, a justice of the peace in Presidio, Tex., told The Post.
The Post also attempted to clear up confusion after conflicting reports appeared to suggest that an autopsy may have still been a possibility.
“As late as Sunday afternoon, there were conflicting reports about whether an autopsy would be performed, though officials later said Scalia’s body was being embalmed and there would be no autopsy,” The Post reported.
Given the high-profile status of Scalia, questions have begun to circulate regarding the decision as well as the almost-immediate claim of no foul play.