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THERE WENT THE JUDGE: Cibolo Creek Ranch Owner Recalls Scalia’s Last Hours

Scalia was just the latest newsworthy guest to visit the celebrity hideaway that covers 30,000 acres near the Chinati Mountains. Mick Jagger, Julia Roberts and Tommy Lee Jones have also partaken of its scenic vistas and luxury accomodations.

MARFA — John MacCormack reports: A first-time guest to the Cibolo Creek Ranch, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was animated and engaged during dinner Friday night, as one of three dozen invitees to an event that had nothing to do with law or politics, according to the ranch owner.

Just hours later, he would be found dead of sapparent natural causes, which media outlets were reporting Sunday was a heart attack.

“He was seated near me and I had a chance to observe him. 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,” recalled Houston businessman John Poindexter, who owns the 30,000-acre luxury ranch.

When Poindexter tried to awaken Scalia about 8:30 the next morning, the judge’s door was locked and he did not answer. Three hours later, Poindexter returned after an outing, with a friend of Scalia who had come from Washington with him.

“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 said.Scalia,79, did not have a pulse and his body was cold, and after consulting with a doctor at a hospital in Alpine, Poindexter concluded resuscitation would have been futile, He then contacted federal authorities, at first encountering a series of answering services because he was calling on a weekend.

[Read the full story here, at San Antonio Express-News]

“Ultimately they became available and handled it superbly. They flew in by helicopter. They told me to secure the ranch, which I did until this morning,” he said.

Scalia was just the latest newsworthy guest to visit the celebrity hideaway that covers 30,000 acres near the Chinati Mountains. Mick Jagger, Julia Roberts and Tommy Lee Jones have also partaken of its scenic vistas and luxury accomodations.

Established in 1857 by Milton Faver, known as the first Texas cattle baron west of the Pecos, the ranch retains 19th Century constructions, including “El Fortin de Cibolo,” a primitive fort designed to protect settlers from Apaches.

In a special guest package offered last month, rooms went for $545 to $565 a night for two people, with a meal package and ranch tour included. Other activities include hiking, horseback riding, bird-watching…(read more)

Source: San Antonio Express-News

jmaccormack@express-news.net

Staff Writer David Saleh Rauf contributed to this report

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