At least eight prison officials knew that Jeffrey Epstein wasn’t allowed to be left unattended in his cell yet deliberately ignored those orders in the 24 hours before his shocking suicide, a new report reveals.
Several prison officials – including supervisors, managers and low-level correctional officers alike – were aware of the strict rules regarding the pedophile’s incarceration at Metropolitan Correctional Center where he wasn’t allowed to be left alone in his cell, according to a Washington Post report.
Despite the security measures to keep the 66-year-old alive behind bars, they were ignored, insiders say.
Sources say at least eight Bureau of Prison staffers knew about the order to not leave Epstein unaccompanied and investigators suspect some of them knew Epstein was on his own in the hours before his suicide on August 10.
The findings come as Attorney General William P. Barr confirmed Wednesday that the investigation into Epstein’s death has not produced any information that contradicts the medical examiner’s report that he died by suicide.
At least eight prison officials were ordered to assure Jeffrey Epstein, 66, wasn’t left unattended in his cell at Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York, yet ignored the strict rules, leading to the pedophile billionaire’s shocking suicide on August 10
‘I have seen nothing that undercuts the finding of the medical examiner that this was a suicide,’ Barr said to reporters Wednesday.
‘Epstein’s death, I think we will see, was a suicide and I do think there are some irregularities at the [Metropolitan Correctional Center,’ he said, as per ABC.
Investigators are now working to determine which prison employees were knowledgeable on the orders to keep Epstein accompanied.
Although prison officials ignored protocol in leaving Epstein unattended, it may not mean criminal conduct was involved and the oversight could be blamed on bureaucratic incompetence.
The Bureau of Prisons has not commented on the matter.
Guards discovered the billionaire hanging dead in his cell in the early hours of August 10. He killed himself using a bed sheet fastened to his bunk bed.
Epstein, who was held on sex trafficking charges, had been held at the facility for more than a month.
‘It’s perplexing,’ Robert Hood, who formerly worked as a warden at federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, said to the outlet. ‘If people were given instructions that Epstein should not be left alone, I don’t understand how they were not followed.’
On Wednesday Attorney General William P. Barr confirmed that the investigation into Epstein’s death has not produced any information that contradicts the medical examiner’s report that his death was a suicide
Hood said it was concerning that Epstein was taken off suicide watch in the days leading up to his death and that prison officials could have thought leaving him under constant supervision would have sufficed.
‘You’re either on suicide watch or you’re not. If you have any concern at all, you maintain the suicide watch,’ he said.
His death sparked public outrage, opened investigations, and led to a shuffle of leadership at the Bureau of Prisons. The FBI and Justice Department’s inspector general are now proving the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death.
On Wednesday Attorney General William P. Barr said the probe is ‘well along’, hinting that he’d give a report to Congress and publicize the results soon.
But he said there were bumps along the way.
‘A number of the witnesses are not cooperative,’ Barr said. ‘A number of them required having union representatives and lawyers before we could scheduled interviews.’
On July 23 Epstein tried to kill himself behind bars, but was thwarted in his suicide attempt with his cellmate at the time, Nicholas Tartaglione, called guards to the cell and officials found him with a bed sheet around his neck.
Despite orders that Epstein should be constantly accompanied, his cellmate was transferred to another cell for unknown reasons on August 9 at Metropolitan Correctional Center
Epstein claimed he was attacked, but officials suspected he intended to take his own life.
He was then placed on suicide watch which was lifted six days later on July 29 and was returned to a special housing unit known as Nine South where officers were instructed to check on him every 30 minutes and assure he wasn’t left alone.
He had a new cellmate following his suicide watch, but that individual was moved out of the cell on August 9 for unknown reasons. The next morning Epstein was discovered dead.
It was also revealed that the two prison guards on duty that night failed to check on Epstein every 30 minutes and falsified records to reflect that they did check in on him, when in reality they had been asleep for up to three hours, according to a New York Times report.
Those two guards were working overtime that week, shedding light on how understaffed and overworked prison workers are.
Though the criminal charges against Epstein have been ended in light of his death, Justice Department officials say they’ll continue to investigate his alleged sex trafficking ring and hold his conspirators responsible.