Ex-cop inmate mysteriously transferred out of Epstein's cell a day before his death was nearby but 'heard nothing': Lawyer
Inmate Nicholas Tartaglione who was sharing the cell with Epstein was transferred out a day before the financier allegedly took his own life
NEW YORK: A hulking ex-cop facing the death penalty and who was Jeffrey Epstein's cellmate before being transferred out of the financier's cell shortly before the 66-year-old died early Saturday has revealed that he did not hear anything out of the ordinary on the morning of Epstein's death, his lawyer confirmed.
Lawyer Bruce Barket, who represents inmate Nicholas Tartaglione, said that "Nobody heard anything. It was a silent act."
Tartaglione was a former police officer in Briarcliff Manor, New York, and is currently facing the death penalty if convicted on charges of murdering four men and burying them in his backyard in 2016.
66-year-old Epstein had been discovered unresponsive in his prison cell while at the Metropolitan Correctional Facility in New York City on early Saturday morning at around 6.30 am. Multiple law enforcement officials shared that the wealthy man and accused sex trafficker seemed to have hung himself.
As reported by NBC News, the chief medical examiner has not yet released a cause of death statement yet though all signs point to suicide. The incident follows previous reports that Epstein had been found unconscious in his cell with marks around his neck, indicating a suicide attempt.
At the time of the first incident, inmate Tartaglione was sharing the same cell as Epstein. According to his lawyer, he was also not far away when Epstein succeeded in allegedly taking his own life.
Barket shared, "Nick knows a heck of a lot about what went on. He was there during the first attempt and he was there when he actually killed himself — he just wasn't in the same cell."
Currently, the FBI and the Justice Department Inspector General also launched investigations into his death.
However, inmate Tartaglione has not yet been contacted by investigators.
Epstein's death has sparked a lot of outrage about the state of the federal jail system. It was just last month that Epstein was placed on suicide watch which resulted in a protocol which saw the removal of bedsheets from his cell. According to officials, he was also placed in some special clothes and watched over closely. However, a week later, he was taken off suicide watch and put back in the special housing unit.
According to Barket, jail is a dehumanizing place for inmates and has extremely poor ventilation and faulty plumbing. The conditions at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) have seen a number of complaints from inmates over the past couple of years.
"None of us are surprised this happened. This is a result of the whole nature of the way this place is run — a bad combination of cruel and lazy," Barket added.