Correctional officers at the New York City prison housing Jeffrey Epstein didn't check in on him for hours leading up to his apparent suicide on Saturday after his cellmate was transferred for reasons that were not immediately clear, according to a report.
In recent weeks, the correctional officers' union has complained of understaffing. An official with knowledge of the investigation told the paper that the Justice Department was told Epstein would have a cellmate and be monitored by a guard every 30 minutes.
Getty Court police officers outside Manhattan court house during Jeffrey Epstein's bail hearing.
A number of prominent lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as Attorney General William Barr, have said they plan to investigate the matter further to determine how and why Epstein's victims were denied justice in this way.
The billionaire was facing sex trafficking charges and had recently been taken off suicide watch, a person familiar with the matter who wasn't authorized to discuss it publicly told The Associated Press. At the request of those representing the decedent and with the awareness of the federal prosecutor, I allowed a private pathologist (Dr. Michael Baden) to observe the autopsy examination.More news: China's digital fiat currency is 'nearly ready' for launch: PBOC official
More news: Four Palestinians attempting to cross from Gaza into Israel are killed
More news: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 launch teaser out
The Federal Bureau of Prisons declined to comment Sunday. Barr said in a statement he was "appalled" at hearing the news and said it raised "serious questions that must be answered". "Inquiries regarding the determination of the chief medical examiner should be directed towards my office". But he was taken off the watch at the end of July and therefore wasn't on it at the time of his death, the person said. The financier was facing up to 45 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy and sex trafficking dozens of underage girls in the states of NY and Florida.
"This is routine practice", Sampson said in the statement. It remains unknown whether that incident was a suicide attempt or an assault by another inmate. He had pleaded not guilty and was awaiting trial.
Federal prosecutors in NY reopened the probe after investigative reporting by The Miami Herald stirred outrage over that plea bargain. "Disbelief. It's still a little shocking that something like that could have happened given his high-profile status in the Bureau of Prisons", she said Sunday on CNN's "Reliable Sources".
"There's so many avenues that have yet to be investigated ... not only on Epstein himself and the crimes he committed - and what other people might have helped him do and other co-conspirators involved in this - but also on how this whole thing happened back in 2008 and why it happened, and whether there's any corruption there to look at", Brown said.