Manhattan prison mistakenly let a career bank robber walk free three days before sleeping guards let Epstein ‘hang himself’
- Mark Matthews walked from Manhattan Correctional Center last Wednesday
- The 58-year-old had a year left to run on a nine year sentence for bank robberies
- It is the latest blunder recorded since Epstein’s apparent suicide on Saturday
- Epstein’s guards were asleep and working extreme overtime, reports claim
Three days before Jeffrey Epstein was found hanging in his jail cell, a career bank robber with a year left to serve walked out of the same Manhattan prison.
It is the latest blunder in a catalog of errors at Manhattan Correctional Center which took the pedophile financier off suicide watch before he is said to have hung himself on Saturday morning.
Michael Matthews, 58, was into his eighth year of a nine year stretch for a string of bank robberies when he was released last Wednesday, the New York Daily News reported.
Matthews would have doubtless been stunned when he was handed his one way metro card out of the facility, but he didn’t raise any queries.
Michael Matthews, 58, was into his eighth year of a nine year stretch for a string of bank robberies when he was released on Wednesday
Jeffrey Epstein, 66, was found hanging in his prison cell on Saturday morning
Matthews was on the run in September 2018 after he failed to turn up to a half-way house where he was to finish off his sentence in Brooklyn.
He managed another two bank robberies before his capture in January.
He had pleaded guilty and was awaiting sentence for those crimes at the MCC when the authorities are understood to have inadvertently released him.
His sister, Susan Matthews, from Queens, told the New York Daily News: ‘I didn’t know anything about this … I can’t believe it.’
According to a letter dated August 13, prosecutors wrote to Judge Dora L. Irizarry: ‘The government is currently seeking additional information about the circumstances prompting the defendant’s pre-sentencing release.’
The letter states Matthews surrendered on August 9 and is currently back in jail.
Attorney General William Barr said he was ‘appalled’ to learn of Epstein’s death at the MCC and slammed it for ‘serious irregularities.’
Epstein, one of the most high profile alleged child sex traffickers in history, was placed on suicide watch after bruises were discovered on his neck on July 23.
But he was taken off suicide watch about a week later.
Two guards were still assigned to check on him every 30 minutes on the night of his death. But they were working extreme overtime shifts, with the latest allegations against the staff claiming they were asleep on the job and falsified logs.
Surveillance video reviewed after Epstein’s death showed guards never made some of the checks noted in the log, according to the person familiar with the ongoing probe.
The Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan has been slammed by Attorney General Bill Barr for ‘serious irregularities’
On Monday it was reported that a ‘fill-in’ guard was in place because of the major shortages at the prison where staff are said to work 18 hour shifts and cannot refuse overtime.
The American Federation of Government Employees claims workers there often work a double shift of 16 hours.
A source claimed one of the guards was working a fifth straight day of overtime and another was working mandatory overtime.