Jeffery Epstein - The Saga - 10
Death - Main article: Death of Jeffrey Epstein
Epstein's body moved from New York hospital to medical examiner's office, video from Voice of America
On July 23, three weeks prior to his death, Epstein was found unconscious in his jail cell with injuries to his neck. Epstein believed he was attacked by his cellmate, who was awaiting trial for four counts of murder, while the correctional staff suspected attempted suicide. After that incident, he was placed on suicide watch. Six days later on July 29, Epstein was taken off suicide watch and placed in a special housing unit with another inmate. Epstein's close associates said he was in "good spirits".
The jail informed the Justice Department when Epstein was placed in the special housing unit that he would have a cellmate and that a guard would look into the cell every 30 minutes. These procedures were not followed on the night of his death. On August 9, Epstein's cellmate was transferred out, and no new replacement cellmate was brought in. Later in the evening, in violation of the jail's normal procedure, Epstein was not checked every 30 minutes. The two guards who were assigned to check his jail unit that night fell asleep and did not check on him for about three hours; the guards falsified related records. Two cameras in front of Epstein's cell also malfunctioned that night.
Epstein was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York City at 6:30 a.m. EDT on August 10, 2019. The Bureau of Prisons said lifesaving measures were initiated immediately upon the discovery of Epstein's body. Emergency responders were called and he was taken to a hospital. On August 10, the Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Attorney General William Barr called the death an apparent suicide, although no final determination had been made. The circumstances leading up to his death are being investigated by the Justice Department.
On August 11, an autopsy was performed. The preliminary result of the autopsy found that Epstein sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones, among the bones broken in Epstein's neck was the hyoid bone. Such breaks of the hyoid bone can occur from those who hang themselves, but they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation. A 2010 study found broken hyoids in one-fourth of cases of hangings, and a larger study conducted from 2010 to 2016 found hyoid damage in just 16 of 264 cases, or six percent of cases of hangings. Hyoid bone breaks are more common in older individuals, as the bones become more brittle upon reaching middle age. Forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht noted that hanging by leaning forward would not result in broken cervical bones.
On August 16, Barbara Sampson, the New York City medical examiner, ruled Epstein's death a suicide by hanging. The medical examiner, according to Epstein's defense counsel, only saw nine minutes of footage from one security camera to help her arrive at her conclusion. Epstein's estate independent pathologist, Michael Baden, who was at the examination, was unable to discuss the result, since, as of August 16, he was bound by a gag order from the medical examiner office and Epstein's estate. Epstein's defense lawyers were not satisfied with the conclusion of the medical examiner and were conducting their own independent investigation into the cause of Epstein's death, including taking legal action, if necessary, to view the pivotal camera footage near his cell during the night of his death. Epstein's lawyers said that the evidence concerning Epstein's death was "far more consistent" with murder than suicide.
Will and cameras
On August 18, it was reported that Jeffrey Epstein had signed his last will and testament on August 8, two weeks after being found injured in his cell and two days before his death. Epstein up until this time was depositing money in other inmates' commissary accounts to avoid being attacked. The signing of the will was witnessed by two attorneys that knew him. The will named two longtime employees as executors, and immediately gifted all of his assets, and any assets remaining in his estate, to a trust. It was reported a week later that at least one camera in the hallway outside Epstein's cell had footage that was unusable, although other usable footage was recorded in the area. Two cameras that malfunctioned in front of Epstein's cell were sent to an FBI crime lab for examination. Federal prosecutors subpoenaed up to 20 correctional officers concerning the cause of Epstein's death.
Attorney General Barr ordered an investigation by the Department of Justice Inspector General in addition to the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, saying that he was "appalled" by Epstein's death in federal custody Two days later Barr said there had been "serious irregularities" in the prison's handling of Epstein, promising "We will get to the bottom of what happened, and there will be accountability."
On August 14, 2019, Manhattan federal court judge Richard M. Berman, who was overseeing Epstein's criminal case, wrote to the Metropolitan Correctional Center warden Lamine N'Diaye inquiring as to whether an investigation into the millionaire's apparent suicide would include a probe into his prior (July 23) injuries. Judge Berman wrote that to his knowledge it has never been definitely explained what they concluded about the incident.
The national president of the Council of Prison Locals C-33, E. O. Young, stated that prisons "can't ever stop anyone who is persistent on killing themselves". Between 2010 and 2016, around 124 inmates killed themselves while in federal custody, or around 20 prisoners per year, out of an inmate population of 180,000. The previous reported inmate suicide in the MCC facility in Manhattan was in 1998. The union leader Young said it was unclear if there was video of Epstein's hanging or direct observations by jail officials. He said that while cameras are ubiquitous in the facility, he did not believe that the interior of inmates' cells were within their range. Young said union officials had long been raising concerns regarding staffing, as the Trump administration had imposed a hiring freeze and budget cuts on the BOP, adding "All this was caused by the administration.
Epstein's attorneys asked Judge Berman to probe their client's death, alleging they could provide evidence that the incident resulting his death was "far more consistent with assault" than suicide.
References:Who is Jeffrey Epstein? - The New York Times:Wikipedia