Two prison guards in New York are facing federal charges related to the death of Jeffrey Epstein while in custody. Allegedly, they ignored two mandatory checks per hour in the eight hours leading up to his death. Prosecutors say they browsed online and took naps instead of making the required checks. They also allegedly falsified records to make it appear as though they were monitoring Epstein.
Epstein was facing sex-trafficking charges at the time of his death, which the medical examiner ruled a suicide by hanging. Epstein’s family believed the death to be a homicide, and they hired a forensic pathologist to investigate. However, security footage obtained by the prosecution indicates that no one entered the part of the jail where he was being held prior to his death. Allegedly, the footage also shows the guards sleeping. Around 6:30 a.m., when breakfast was supposed to be served, the guards found Epstein. The indictment says that one of the guards told their supervisor he had hung himself while another said they had messed up.
Epstein was believed to have already attempted suicide once, less than two weeks earlier. His placement in the unit, where there was supposed to be extra supervision, followed a suicide watch and hospital stay. The two guards have been charged with several counts of conspiracy and falsifying records.
Individuals who are facing any kind of criminal charges, whether it is for sex trafficking, conspiracy, narcotics importation, white-collar crimes or other offenses, may want to consult an attorney. Attorneys may be able to suggest a strategy for challenging the charges in a court trial. Another possibility might be a plea bargain. This bypasses a trial and usually involves a deal with the prosecution in which a person may plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for a lighter sentence.