Federal jail guards could’ve stopped convicted sexual abuser Jeffrey Epstein from committing suicide if they’d actually checked in on him, says an expert.
“All it would take is that you walk by the guy’s door every 15 to 20 minutes, and stick your head in the porthole, just to see if this guy’s chest is still rising and falling,” said forensic death investigator Joseph Scott Morgan on Wednesday at the Law&Crime Network.
Epstein, who faced a new sex trafficking case, was found unresponsive at his cell Saturday morning at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, according to a statement obtained by Law&Crime. Staff and emergency medical services tried to save his life, but he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Now several agencies, including the FBI, are investigating.
Inmate suicides are an under-reported part of jail and prison life, but Epstein’s case caught national attention. The federal defendant suddenly dropping dead after having rubbed elbows with some of the most powerful people in the world and obtained a sweetheart deal for pleading guilty in a 2008 state court case after allegedly abusing dozens of girls. It’s ripe fodder for conspiracy theories. Those are unsubstantiated, however.
In any case, one of the charges against Epstein was conspiracy, which suggested other possible defendants. No one else has been charged in this case, but longtime friend and former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell long faced allegations she helped procure teenage girls to be victimized by Epstein. Her whereabouts remain officially unknown.
The question now is whether jail officials did their due diligence in making sure Epstein survived until trial. Epstein was reportedly found injured with marks on his neck last month, and he was put on suicide watch. Since his death, it turned out he was reportedly taken off suicide watch because his legal time so asked. He was reportedly supposed to be checked on every 30 minutes and was supposed to have a cellmate. Neither occurred. Now the two guards who looked after Epstein were reportedly accused of both falling asleep on the job and falsifying records to make it seem like they’d been checking on him.
“I am of the opinion that heads will in fact roll in this case,” Joseph Scott Morgan said. He attributed Epstein’s suicide to neglect. “I don’t know. It’s almost like apathy.”
[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network.]