CIBOLO CREEK RANCH, TX. – When U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died Valentine’s Day weekend, he was on his first visit to a beautiful yet remote ranch in west Texas, near the Mexican border, owned by a wealthy Houstonian.
Ranch owner John Poindexter is well known among Houston’s elite social circles and invited Scalia, whom he says he did not know well, to the ranch. The ranch is near Marfa, Texas, located near Big Bend National Park.
Poindexter began his career on Wall Street and served in the Army before making money crafting buyouts of companies. In 2009, President Barack Obama presented him with the Presidential Unit Citation in the Rose Garden for Poindexter’s heroism during a rescue in Vietnam.
The day before Scalia’s death, Poindexter said the group visiting toured the ranch. There were about 35 invitees, Poindexter told Channel 2.
“We had lunch and then walked on a tour of the ranch,” he said. “[Scalia] did not exert himself at all. He had a pleasant time. He was his usual personable self, not exactly the life of the party, but certainly a participant,” he said.
The next morning Poindexter found Scalia dead.
“He had obviously passed away with no difficultly at all in the middle of the night,” Poindexter said.
A report from the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office says Poindexter called requesting the sheriff give him the phone number of the U.S. Marshal’s Office, but didn’t give the name of the person who died.
Sheriff Danny C. Dominguez wrote in a report reviewed by Channel 2 that Poindexter “stated to me that this death was way beyond my authority and it should go to the feds.”