Update, Jan. 9: the government now says the video “no longer exists.”
Lost and found.
Prosecutors in New York City now say they’ve been able to locate previously lost surveillance footage from outside of dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s cell on the night of his first suicide attempt at the Manhattan Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC).
The suspiciously missing footage was located late Thursday–just one day after prosecutors told a federal court that video from the night of July 22 and early morning of July 23 of this year had not been properly preserved by Manhattan MCC authorities.
“We are very pleased the video was preserved, as we had asked,” said Bruce Barket, a defense attorney for Epstein’s former cellmate Nick Tartaglione on early Friday morning. “We look forward to viewing it. ”
According to the New York Daily News, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Swergold penned a one-page letter to U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas quickly reversing his office’s Wednesday claim that the footage from outside of Epstein and Tartaglione’s just could not be found.
“It is our understanding…that the video no longer exists,” Swergold initially told Karas. “It was not preserved.”
But what a difference a day makes in the New York legal system.
“Earlier today, the government confirmed with MCC staff that the video was preserved by MCC staff upon defense counsel’s request in July 2019, and the government is in the process of obtaining a copy of the video,” Swergold confirmed to Karas via the volte-face filing.
Barket previously expressed concerns about the once-missing video.
“It is on the surface troubling,” Barket mused to the Daily News on Wednesday. “I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve found out more details.”
As Law&Crime previously reported, Tartaglione claims to have saved the elite pedophile’s life on the night in question. The ex-cop, behind bars on quadruple murder charges, reportedly alerted Manhattan MCC officials after Epstein attempted to hang himself.
“Nick acted appropriately and admirably,” Barket said.
“They became more than cordial,” Barket added of the quick relationship that apparently developed between his client and Epstein. “In the short time they were together, they became friends.”
According to NBC 4 New York, Epstein was found “injured and in a fetal position inside his cell,” after authorities were alerted to his condition and was “semi-conscious with marks on his neck.”
After that incident, Epstein was transferred to a different section of the MCC, placed on so-called “suicide watch,” promptly taken off and then left alone in his cell before eventually dying under somewhat disputed circumstances the second week of August.
Officially, of course, Epstein’s death was ruled a suicide.
The former Briarcliff Manor cop has yet to be questioned about the pedophile’s allegedly successful suicide by hanging.
Tartaglione’s defense team requested the footage as it would likely be regarded as evidence of his good character in the upcoming death penalty trial for the four murders he’s accused of committing. Such good character evidence might be useful in mitigating sentencing severity in the instance of an eventual guilty verdict.
“We think ultimately it will portray Nick in a positive light,” Barket told The Journal News late Thursday.
The latest video controversy had people on high alert, particularly because it still hasn’t been fully explained why some video footage outside of Epstein’s cell is unusable.
[image via mugshot/MCC]