The two prison guards who were in charge of monitoring Jeffery Epstein, were charged Tuesday with conspiracy and filing false records by a grand jury.
What We Know:
- In August, multimillionaire Jeffery Epstein was found dead in his cell around 6:30 a.m. at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. Tova Noel, 31, and Michael Thomas, 41, who were his guards during this time, pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court. They were released on $100,000 bail each, reports CNN.
- According to NPR, when Epstein was found unresponsive, Noel told her boss that Epstein “hung himself” in his cell. Thomas also told the same boss that “we messed up”. Video surveillance revealed that neither Noel nor Thomas completed any of their prison checks throughout the night. Epstein was left alone in his cell for more than eight hours. Apparently, the guards were on “their computers online shopping and appeared to be asleep”.
- Prior to Epstein’s placement in the guard’s care, he attempted to take his life on July 23. Epstein was alone in his cell without a cell mate because, reportedly his cell mate had been transferred, reports NPR. The cell was only 15 feet away from where the guards sat that night. The guards allegedly falsified the documents stating that they made their rounds the night of his death.
- Since the guards have been charged, Noel reportedly wants to cooperate with the investigation according to her lawyer Jason Foy. In a released statement attained by the NYPost, Foy says “Tova Noel did not make any efforts to frustrate the government’s investigation”.
- “The emphasis should be on the conditions that caused the shortage of staff. And then who made the decision to take him off suicide watch? And who made the decision to leave him in the cell alone?” said Jose Rojas, a rep for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Before Epstein’s death, he pleaded not guilty in his sexual abuse case.