NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – Questions surrounding the jail cell death of disgraced Florida financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein are intensifying after important surveillance video was apparently lost.
A recent 60 Minutes broadcast showed the New York jail cell where Epstein hanged himself last August. But now there’s a new focus on the suicide attempt Epstein made weeks before he died.
Video of the cell exterior where Epstein first tried to end his life was sent to the government and restored last week. But on Thursday, federal prosecutors said it is the wrong video.
In a letter, federal prosecutors said the jail “inadvertently preserved video from the wrong tier” at the jail,” and “as a result, video from outside the defendant’s cell no longer exists.”
“When I read this letter I had to re-read because I said this just can’t be happening, this is madness,” said CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman.
Nicholas Tartaglione was Epstein’s cellmate at the Metropolitan Correctional Center for the weeks between Epstein’s July arrest and his first suicide attempt. Bruce Barket is his attorney.
“It is the worst facility, jail or prison that I have been to in 35 years of practicing law,” he said.
The missing jail cell video could re-ignite speculation of a cover-up, as the detention facility continues to be under fire for multiple failures before Epstein died in custody
“When you’ve got videotape disappearing, cameras not working, guards allegedly not being where they’re supposed to be, it’s no wonder that Jeffrey Epstein is dead,” said Klieman.
The federal Bureau of Prisons which oversees the Metropolitan Correctional Center where Epstein died has declined comment, citing the ongoing federal investigation into Epstein’s which was five months ago today.