On Saturday, we covered Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide while in custody (and the resulting #ClintonBodyCount versus #TrumpBodyCount Twitter war that ensued).  One of the questions surrounding reports of Epstein’s suicide was how he could have managed that while—it was widely reported—under suicide watch.

Reports are now surfacing that he was not under suicide watch at the time of his death and that the guards who were supposed to be monitoring him . . . didn’t.  The FBI is reportedly investigating.

The AP reports:

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons said Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center early Saturday.

Staff tried to revive him, and he was transported to a local hospital for treatment. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Epstein had been held in the jail’s Special Housing Unit, a heavily secured part of the facility that separates high-profile inmates from the general population, but his death is likely to raise questions about how the Bureau of Prisons ensures the welfare of high-profile inmates.

Attorney General William Barr said he was “appalled” by the news.

Before he took his own life, Epstein has been taken off suicide watch, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press. The person wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Epstein had previously been injured with bruises to the neck while in custody, though it was not clear if those were self-inflicted or the result of an assault.

The FBI and the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Justice will investigate his death.

NBC News is reporting that autopsy results will be available at some point Sunday, though there seems little disagreement in reports that he hanged himself.

The New York City medical examiner said Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy results are expected Sunday afternoon, according to WNBC.

Epstein, accused of sexually assaulting and trafficking girls as young as 14, was found dead Saturday morning after he hanged himself in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, sources told NBC News.

After a previous suicide attempt on July 23, Epstein was put on 24-hour suicide watch for six days, then removed to a special housing unit with another inmate, according to prison officials. The other inmate was later moved out of the unit, leaving Epstein alone and not properly monitored by guards.

The alleged failure of the guards to check Epstein every 30 minutes may be related to union gripes about understaffing.

ABC News reports:

Jail protocols requiring routine checks on the wellbeing of accused sex trafficker Jeffery Epstein appear to have not been followed in the hours before the millionaire was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City, sources told ABC News on Sunday.

As an inmate in the Special Housing Unit at MCC, Epstein should have been checked on by a correctional officer every 30 minutes, according to Bureau of Prison protocols. But sources told ABC News that protocol was not followed prior to Epstein’s death by suicide.

In recent weeks, the correctional officers’ union has complained of understaffing. Those gripes are now part of the investigation into whether the 30-minute checks were happening, sources said.

At this point, details are to be taken with a grain of salt as we await official reports, but it doesn’t sound like New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center—the facility at which he was housed—is very pleasant.

[UPDATE]

According to NBC New York, the Epstein autopsy has been completed, determination still pending.

An autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein was completed on Sunday, but the medical examiner hasn’t yet released the jailed financier’s cause of death.

The medical examiner allowed a private pathologist to observe the autopsy, he said in a statement.

“The ME’s determination is pending further information at this time,” his statement said.

Epstein died “from an apparent suicide” and was found around 6:30 a.m. Saturday at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, the jail confirmed. Sources told NBC 4 New York he hanged himself.

 
 
donate
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.