A day after claiming that surveillance footage from Jeffery Epstein’s July 23 suicide attempt was missing, prosecutors confirmed that the video had actually been preserved by the Metropolitan Correctional Center staff.
“Earlier today, the government confirmed with MCC staff that the video was preserved by MCC staff upon defense counsel’s request,” federal prosecutor Jason Swergold wrote in a letter to Judge Kenneth Karas.
Karas is presiding over the case of accused quadruple murderer and former cop Nick Tartaglione, who shared Epstein’s cell at the time of the attempt. Epstein was found nearly unconscious with neck injuries in what was ruled a suicide attempt at the time, but news broke in August that Epstein had accused Tartaglione of inflicting the injuries.
“We are very pleased the video was preserved, as we had asked,” Bruce Barket, Tartaglione’s attorney said on early Friday morning. “We look forward to viewing it.”
Barket had sought the footage soon after the incident as potential evidence of his client’s good character, after Tartaglione said he saved Epstein’s life by alerting guards to the attempt, contesting Epstein’s narrative. But on Wednesday, Swergold had told the court that “it is our understanding that the video no longer exists.”
On August 10, Epstein was found hanging in separate cell, which he had been placed in alone after being taken off of suicide watch just one week after the July 23 incident. Last month, two employees at the Manhattan jail were arrested for failing to check on Epstein the night he died in prison.
Speculation that Epstein had been murdered gained traction after famed forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden challenged the ruling of “suicide” by NYC’s chief medical examiner. Attorney general William Barr dismissed the notion that Epstein’s death was the result of a homicidal conspiracy after personally reviewing security footage and declaring the case “a perfect storm of screw-ups.”