Surveillance video near deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s New York City prison cell during his first suicide attempt is missing, prosecutors said Wednesday, according to the New York Daily News.
Speaking before a White Plains District Court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Swergold said he and others have not been able to track down the security footage outside of Epstein’s cell, which he shared with accused murderer Nick Tartaglione.
The Daily News reports:
A spokesman for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office and Bruce Barket, an attorney for Tartaglione, confirmed the stunning revelation that the footage was not preserved. Tartaglione’s attorneys filed a request for the footage to be retained two days after Epstein’s unsuccessful suicide attempt on July 23, Barket said.
Judge Kenneth Karas requested U.S. officials probe the matter.
“It is on the surface troubling,” said Barket. “I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve found out more details.”
Epstein committed suicide by hanging in a second cell on August 10 while awaiting trial for child sex trafficking charges. In November, two Bureau of Prisons guards were charged with conspiracy and filing false records over their actions the evening Epstein died.
“The [guards] had a duty to ensure the safety and security of federal inmates in their care,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said. “Instead, they repeatedly failed to conduct mandated checks on inmates, and lied on official forms to hide their dereliction.”
Epstein’s cell was just 15 feet from the guards’ desks, the indictment said. Prosecutors said they filed the false paperwork the afternoon of Aug. 9, a few hours before security cameras showed Epstein escorted to his cell. Tova Noel and Michael Thomas filed another false count a short time later, the charges say, and Epstein was found dead early the next morning.
According to the 20-page indictment, Noel walked past Epstein’s cell a final time at 10:30 p.m., before the guards filed three more false headcounts. Guards are supposed to perform headcounts every 30 minutes.
The UPI contributed to this report.