Any surveillance video from Jeffrey Epstein’s first apparent suicide attempt in a Manhattan jail cell has been deleted, prosecutors said Thursday, further fanning the flames of conspiracy that’ve engulfed Epstein’s death last August.
The wealthy financier, who was accused of grooming and sexually abusing dozens of girls for years, was found unconscious in his cell at New York’s Metropolitan Correction Center shortly after his July arrest on sex trafficking charges. (He later died by suicide in the same jail in August.)
Just two days after Epstein’s first apparent suicide attempt, his then-cellmate, Nicholas Tartaglione, requested surveillance footage to prove that he attempted to save the registered sex offender. Tartaglione, a former police officer, is awaiting trial on charges of killing four men in 2016, and faces the death penalty. His attorneys hoped the video would help his case, according to The Journal News.
Jail officials apparently preserved a video from that day and time, but from the wrong cell block entirely, according to prosecutors. And although there’s a backup video mechanism for the Special Housing Unit, where Epstein was held that day, the secondary video doesn’t exist, either, due to a “technical error.” The FBI only discovered the jail had failed to preserve the correct video last week, and jail officials previously thought the right video existed.
Tartaglione’s attorney, Bruce Barket, told CBS News the jail where Epstein died is “the worst facility, jail or prison that I’ve been to in 35 years of practicing law.”