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Judge says she changed her mind on autopsy, decided it wasn't needed

By The Associated Press  |  Posted Feb 15th, 2016 @ 12:11pm


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MARFA, Texas (AP) — A Texas judge says she initially determined that an autopsy should be conducted on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

But Judge Cinderela Guevara says she changed her mind after speaking with Scalia's doctor -- who confirmed that the justice had a history of heart trouble and other illnesses. The judge says that medical history, and a lack of any signs of foul play, meant the justice likely died of natural causes and that no autopsy would be necessary.

Scalia was found dead in his room at a West Texas resort ranch Saturday morning. He was 79.

A manager at a Texas funeral home says Scalia's family didn't think a private autopsy was necessary, and requested that his remains be returned to Washington as soon as possible.

The owner of Cibolo Creek Ranch near Marfa, where Scalia died, said the justice seemed his usual self at dinner the night before he was found "in complete repose" in his room. John Poindexter told reporters Scalia was part of a group of about 35 weekend guests. He arrived Friday around noon.

%@AP Links

049-a-13-(udge Cinderela Guevara (sihn-dur-EHL'-uh gwuh-VAHR'-uh), Presidio County, Texas, with reporters Sunday)-"to his physician"-Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara says she asked questions about scene, and about the prior health of Justice Antonin Scalia, before concluding that his death was likely from natural causes. (15 Feb 2016)

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050-a-04-(udge Cinderela Guevara (sihn-dur-EHL'-uh gwuh-VAHR'-uh), Presidio County, Texas, with reporters Sunday)-"autopsy was ordered"-Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara says, after speaking with Justice Antonin Scalia's doctor, and with law enforcement officials, she has concluded that the justice's death was likely due to natural causes. (15 Feb 2016)

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APPHOTO COBL601: FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2014, file photo, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks to an audience gathered at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, Colo. Scalia, 79, was found dead the morning of Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, at a private residence in the Big Bend area of West Texas. Scalia's body lay in a Texas funeral home Sunday and officials awaited word about whether they would need to perform an autopsy before the late Supreme Court justice could return home to Virginia. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File) (1 Oct 2014)

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APPHOTO RPJM702: The Sunset Funeral Home confirmed to The Associated Press on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016, that it's handling the body of recently deceased United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in El Paso, Texas. Scalia died while vacationing at a secluded resort in the region over the weekend. He was 79. (AP Photo/ John L. Mone) (14 Feb 2016)

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