When Jeffrey Epstein dead body was present in his Manhattan prison cell in August, folks questioned how such a high-profile inmate was left so unsupervised that he was in a position to hang himself.
Yesterday, two federal guards who had been tasked that evening with watching Mr. Epstein on the Metropolitan Correctional Middle turned the primary folks to face fees stemming from a felony investigation into his dying.
With these fees, an official account of what presumably occurred contained in the jail started to emerge.
The small print
The guards, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, had been charged with failing to examine on Mr. Epstein each half-hour, as they had been imagined to, after which mendacity about it on paperwork, in line with an indictment unsealed yesterday.
As an alternative of checking on detainees from 10:30 p.m. to six:30 a.m., the indictment stated, the 2 jail staff “sat at their desk, browsed the web and moved across the frequent space.” Ms. Noel, 31, shopped on-line for furnishings, and Mr. Thomas, 41, browsed motorbike gross sales and caught up on sports activities information, in line with the indictment. At factors, investigators concluded, the guards seemed to be asleep.
Ms. Noel and Mr. Thomas then signed “rely sheets,” falsely saying they’d checked on inmates a number of instances, the indictment stated. They found that Mr. Epstein was useless in his cell — 15 toes from their desk — solely once they went to present him breakfast.
The indictment stated that solely on-duty corrections officers would have had entry to the unit the place Mr. Epstein, a disgraced financier, was being held on sex-trafficking fees. Safety digital camera video prompt that solely two different employees entered the unit that evening.
The indictment backed up the New York Metropolis chief medical expert’s discovering that Mr. Epstein’s dying was a suicide by hanging. Attorneys for Mr. Epstein have challenged that ruling, and a forensic pathologist employed by his household has claimed that “proof factors to murder.”
Jose Rojas, an official within the jail employees’ union, stated Ms. Noel and Mr. Thomas had been being made scapegoats for Mr. Epstein’s dying. Mr. Rojas stated that lacking rounds and doctoring data had been usually handled as coverage violations, not as felony issues.
However that might be altering, Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, informed Congress yesterday. “If folks simply selected to not do their job, we’re hoping the U.S. lawyer’s workplace will decide up these instances and prosecute them for us,” she stated. “As a result of we don’t need these folks within the Bureau of Prisons. They’re harmful to all people — the inmates and the employees.”