Two cameras pointed toward the outside of the cell holding now-deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein that had reportedly malfunctioned at the time of his death have been sent to an FBI crime lab for examination, an unnamed law enforcement source told Reuters.
Epstein was in a Manhattan jail facing trial on child sex trafficking charges when he was found dead in his cell on Aug. 10. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging by the New York City Medical Examiner’s office. But during a court hearing on Aug. 27, Epstein’s lawyers told a judge they had doubts about whether the office’s conclusion was correct.
Both cameras were within view of Epstein’s cell located in the Metropolitan Correctional Center’s Special Housing Unit. The cameras were sent to Quantico, Virginia, the site of a major FBI crime lab where agents and forensic scientists analyze evidence.
Although two cameras malfunctioned, providing unusable footage, there was other “clearer footage” of the outside area, unnamed sources told The Washington Post.
Epstein’s lawyers said at the hearing that they have evidence suggesting Epstein was murdered. One of the lawyers, Martin Weinberg, told a judge that an expert hired by the family says injuries to his neck were more consistent with homicide than suicide.
Previously, a source told Reuters that the two jail guards assigned to Epstein’s cell failed to follow a procedure overnight to make separate checks on all prisoners every 30 minutes.
The Justice Department and the FBI didn’t respond to requests for comment from The Epoch Times. Weinberg also didn’t respond.
Media reports have said there is no surveillance video of the inside of Epstein’s cell, only of the outside. Cameron Lindsay, a former warden of three federal prisons, told The Epoch Times on Aug. 20 that this is normal.
“At least in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, they typically do not have cameras trained on the inside of a cell,” Lindsay said.
The two guards watching Epstein were reportedly working overtime in order to make up for staffing shortages, and one of them had worked a fifth straight day of overtime, an unnamed source told The Associated Press.
Epstein was apparently taken off suicide watch in late July at the request of his attorneys. The financier had been meeting with his lawyers for up to 12 hours a day, one unnamed source told the newspaper.
“I was just utterly shocked he had been removed from suicide watch,” Linsday told The Epoch Times previously.
Dozens of Epstein’s accusers testified in court on Aug. 27, detailing the abuse they faced at the hands of Epstein, and their reaction to his suicide, which they say robbed them of proper justice, The Epoch Times previously reported. Some accusers urged federal prosecutors to go after the co-conspirators and enablers of Epstein.
Sixteen women testified in person to the court; some gave their names, others preferred to remain anonymous. Lawyers also read statements from seven other women who couldn’t, or didn’t want to, speak publicly.
A central point raised by many of the accusers is that Epstein robbed them of their innocence and their childhood. Some described how his female associates recruited them when they were very young and vulnerable.
Reuters contributed to this report.