Jeffrey Epstein’s former cop ex-cellmate who is facing life in prison for the murders of four people in a drug deal gone wrong, has been cleared of any wrongdoing related to what was allegedly his first suicide attempt last month.
Recent reports claimed the pedophile – who was awaiting trial for sex trafficking children before he took his own life last Saturday – told his lawyers fellow New York jail inmate Nicholas Tartaglione had inflicted injuries to his neck in a July 23 incident while they bunked together in the Special Housing Unit at Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC).
But Tartaglione’s lawyer has said his client was cleared of any involvement the day before Epstein’s death and wouldn’t face charges or internal discipline.
‘We’ve always maintained Nick did nothing wrong and that’s clearly been borne out here by the jail itself,’ Bruce Barket told NBC News.
Nicholas Tartaglione’s (right) lawyer said his client was cleared of any involvement Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘first suicide attempt’ the day before Epstein’s (left) death Saturday
On July 23, Epstein was found on the floor of a cell he shared with the ex-cop at MCC and he had neck injuries
The publication said someone familiar with the case confirmed his statement but MCC would not comment.
An investigation was launched into how Epstein could have had the opportunity to take his own life despite having been on suicide watch two weeks before his death.
It was later confirmed he was taken off suicide watch.
Epstein was moved to his own cell and was supposed be checked on every 30 minutes.
The warden at MCC, Lamine N’Diaye, has since been reassigned to a new prison.
Bruce Barket said about his client (pictured): ‘We’ve always maintained Nick did nothing wrong and that’s clearly been borne out here by the jail itself’
In a letter officially notifying the court of Epstein’s death, N’Diaye confirmed the July incident would be referenced in the probe carried out by the FBI and the Justice Department Office of Inspector General.
‘One open question, among others, is whether the investigations referenced in your letter will include the incident at MCC involving Mr. Epstein on or about July 23, 2019,’ Judge Richard Berman wrote in and August 12 response. ‘To my knowledge, it has never been definitively explained what the BOP concluded about that incident.’
N’Diaye did not offer up what the conclusion was in his reply.
He wrote: ‘I can confirm that, although an internal investigation was completed regarding the July 23, 2019 incident, the current investigations by the FBI and OIG will include this incident as well. Accordingly, I cannot divulge any information about the prior investigation at this time.’
Epstein told his lawyers that former police officer Tartaglione ‘roughed him up, and that’s why they got him off suicide watch’.
Barket had previously maintained his client was in the clear.
‘I do know that Nick was not brought up on any charges at all in the institution, so they cleared him,’ told the New York Post on Wednesday. ‘It’s simply, patently false to say that [Epstein] did anything other than try to kill himself at least twice, and succeeded when he succeeded.’
On July 23, Epstein was found unconscious on the floor of a cell he shared with the ex-cop at MCC and he had neck injuries
Barket had also previously claimed his client was being implicated because he had complained about the conditions at MCC.
Barket claimed Tartaglione saved Epstein’s life in July by alerting guards.
On Friday, lawyers for the financier say they’re dissatisfied with the medical examiner’s conclusions and plan to view prison videos themselves from a facility operating under ‘medieval conditions.’
Three lawyers issued a joint statement after a medical examiner announced Friday that an autopsy and other evidence confirms the 66-year-old registered sex offender hanged himself.
Epstein was declared dead after he was found in his cell August 10, adjacent to Manhattan’s courthouses.
MCC warden Lamine N’Diaye (not pictured), said in August 12 correspondence o the judge in Epstein’s case, ‘an internal investigation was completed’ regarding the July 23 incident but he ‘cannot divulge any information’ about it
The warden (not pictured) said the current FBI and OIG investigations will include the July incident. Pictured, the body of Epstein is brought out by medical examiners in New York and put into an SUV and taken to the Medical Examiner
Attorneys Martin Weinberg, Reid Weingarten and Michael Miller said in a statement that it is ‘indisputable that the authorities violated their own protocols’ at the federal lockup.
They say they’ll conduct their own probe and get court help, if necessary, to see ‘pivotal videos.’
They say they’re most interested in videos of areas around his cell.
A Justice Department official says people including jail staff members believed to have information pertinent to the probe into financier Jeffrey Epstein’s death are not cooperating with investigators.
The official says the people have not yet been interviewed by the FBI and that their lack of cooperation is a challenge as investigators works to try to determine the full circumstances surrounding Epstein’s suicide.
The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The official says the FBI has repeatedly sought interviews with some staff members but those interviews are being delayed by union representatives.