Jeffrey Epstein was afraid of his cellmate, a muscle-bound ex-cop charged with murder who was relocated before the financier’s death: according to the report
Epstein Cell Mate : Jeffrey Epstein’s cellmate at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center was reportedly a hulking ex-cop facing the death penalty on federal murder and drug charges — and an official says Epstein might have feared the former cop, who was questioned after the disgraced financier’s apparent suicide attempt last month and was transferred out of Epstein’s cell shortly before the 66-year-old was sentenced to death.
Nicholas Tartaglione, a former Briarcliffe Manor cop in Westchester County, New York, was accused in 2016 with the murders of four individuals as part of a cocaine drug conspiracy.
Tartaglione’s attorney told Fox News on Monday that Epstein was held at the MCC federal prison with the 51-year-old former cop after his sex trafficking indictment in July.
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After Epstein was placed on suicide watch, Tartaglione was transferred out of Epstein’s cell in the MCC’s Special Housing Unit — a highly secure section of the facility that separates high-profile offenders from the general population — according to Tartaglione’s attorney, Bruce Barket. It was unclear why he had been moved.
According to a source, the most recent convict allocated to Epstein’s cell was relocated just hours before his death on Friday.
After being discovered semi-conscious in his cell with bruising on his neck a little more than two weeks before his death, Epstein was placed on suicide watch and ordered to have daily psychological tests.
According to a source acquainted with the situation, Epstein was just removed off suicide watch, but it was unclear when.
A FORMER MCC INMATE SAYS THERE’S ‘NO WAY’ JEFFREY EPSTEIN KILLED HIMSELF
Though the injuries were first thought to be the result of a suicide attempt, sources informed WNBC at the time that authorities hadn’t ruled out an assault on Epstein, and an inmate named Tartaglione was questioned about the event.
Officials say Tartaglione told them he didn’t witness anything linked to the alleged suicide attempt and that he didn’t touch Epstein.
Tartaglione and Epstein were “on the same unit and doing well,” according to Barket, who added that rumours that Tartaglione assaulted Epstein were “absolutely not accurate.”
According to the Journal News, Barket said in a statement that “any notion that Mr. Tartaglione assaulted anyone is a pure lie.”
“This storey is being released in retaliation for Mr. Tartaglione’s complaint to the court regarding the MCC’s appalling conditions.”
Someone “seeking to disgrace Epstein and cast some shade on Nick,” according to Barket, may have leaked the claims against his client.
Indeed, a law enforcement source told the New York Daily News last month that Tartaglione claimed he aided Epstein after discovering him asleep in his cell during his alleged suicide attempt.
The source appeared to back up Barket’s claims about the “deplorable circumstances” at the institution, which he described as “bordering on inhumane” to Fox News on Monday.
“At the end of the day, the facility is run with a bad combination of laziness and cruelty, and this is one of the results,” Barket said, adding that he hopes the investigation into Epstein’s apparent suicide will look into “the way the facility is run and the conditions in which inmates are forced to live.”
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The source explained, “You’ve got a millionaire who is now living among rats and mould and wants to go home.”
“This is a filthy environment, and the people who work there treat you like filth. Who wouldn’t be suicidal in such a setting?
You’re shoved into a cesspool with a silver spoon in your mouth.”
Barket did not refute Tartaglione’s reported assertions. He did told the New York Daily News that his client and Epstein “grew more than courteous,” even saying the two “become friends.”
On Monday, the attorney told Fox News that Epstein had no cause to fear Tartaglione, and that his “feeling is he did not fear Nick.”
However, E.O. Young, the national head of the Council of Prison Locals C-33, told The Washington Post that Epstein may have been attempting to flee Tartaglione.
Investigators say Tartaglione was involved in the kidnapping and murder of four individuals in 2016. According to the Journal News, Tartaglione was beaten while being imprisoned at MCC in February 2018.
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Tartaglione had reconstructive surery after an eye socket bone was damaged in the 2018 incident, according to Barket.
Tartaglione was “quite literally in a box staring at walls…Not unexpectedly, his mental health has degraded,” according to the attorney at the time.
Tartaglione was “quite literally in a box staring at walls” in the Special Housing Unit at MCC, where Epstein was later also confined.
Tartaglione is expected to face the death penalty, according to federal prosecutors.
After his arrest in July, Epstein was being held on allegations of child sex trafficking and conspiracy.
Between 2002 and 2005, prosecutors claim he sexually molested hundreds of underage girls in his New York and Florida homes.
Epstein pled not guilty, and if convicted, he could face up to 45 years in prison.
Prisoners who are well-known, high-profile, or notorious, as well as those suspected of sex offences against children, are frequently given extra protection from other inmates.
However, it was unclear what, if any, specific safeguards were taken in Epstein’s situation.