Epstein was found semi-conscious with marks on his neck, sources said and investigators are trying to piece together exactly what happened
Accused pedophile and wealthy Manhattan financier Jeffrey Epstein was found injured and in a fetal position inside his cell at a New York City jail, according to sources close to the investigation.
Epstein, who is being held in Metropolitan Correctional Center during his trial for conspiracy and sex trafficking, was found semi-conscious with marks on his neck, two sources told News 4. Investigators are trying to piece together exactly what happened, saying details remain murky.
Two sources tell News 4 that Epstein may have tried to hang himself, while a third source cautioned that the injuries were not serious and questioned if Epstein might be using it as a way to get a transfer.
A fourth source said an assault has not been ruled out, and that another inmate was questioned. The inmate who investigators have talked to in Lower Manhattan facility has been identified as Nicholas Tartaglione, according to two sources. Tartaglione is a former police officer in Westchester County who was arrested in December 2016 and accused of killing four men in an alleged cocaine distribution conspiracy, then burying their bodies in his yard in Otisville in Orange County, according to court records.
Sources told News 4 investigators questioned Tartaglione, and the former cop claimed not to have seen anything and insisted he did not touch Epstein, sources said.
The attorney for Tartaglione denied all the claims that his client attacked the financier, saying his client and Epstein get along well. The attorney added Epstein was seen today and appears to be fine.
"They are in the same unit and doing well," said Bruce Barket, an attorney for Tartaglione. He said any claim that Tartaglione might have assaulted Epstein "is absolutely not true."
Barket said Tartaglione and Epstein have been complaining about conditions inside the MCC including flooding, rodents and bad food.
Epstein is now on suicide watch inside MCC, according to two sources. Attorneys for Epstein did not immediately return calls for comment.
A spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons did not return calls and spokesmen for the U.S. Marshals and U.S. Attorney's office declined to comment.
No Bail for NYC Financier Jeff Epstein
A judge in Manhattan on Thursday denied financier Jeffrey Epstein's lawyers' requests for bail in his federal sex case. Jonathan Dienst reports.
(Published Thursday, July 18, 2019)
Most recently in the sex trafficking case against Epstein, the wealthy financier had been denied bail on July 18 following a bombshell search-warrant revelation that Epstein had a fake passport and piles of cash and diamonds stashed in a safe inside his $77 million Manhattan home.
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman cited risk of flight and danger to the community in his decision against Epstein, a registered sex offender and private-island owner who faces new federal charges of exploiting dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida in the early 2000s. That meant Epstein would remain behind bars pending trial (a date for the start of which has yet to be set).
Defense attorneys filed their notice of appeal to the bail ruling on Monday.
Epstein has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and sex trafficking charges brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan. Wild's accusations are not part of that indictment. The financier's next court date is set for July 31.