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Jeffrey Epstein death: Guards fell asleep for 3 hours NYT report says

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The two prison guards assigned to monitor Jeffrey Epstein in a high-security jail fell asleep for three hours, the night he died of an apparent suicide, The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed officials.

The guards also allegedly falsified a log to hide the mistake, according to The Times.

Both guards have since been placed on administrative leave, and a warden for the Metropolitan Correctional Center has been temporarily reassigned, following Epstein’s death.

The guards were working overtime shifts, as the high-security Manhattan jail was short-staffed around the time of Epstein’s apparent suicide. A source told The Associated Press that the Special Housing Unit where Epstein was held was “staffed with one guard working a fifth straight day of overtime and another who was working mandatory overtime.”

According to The Times, one of the two staff members “was a former correctional officer who had taken a different position at the detention center that did not involve guarding detainees,” but volunteered to work for the overtime pay. The other officer was working mandatory overtime to make up for staffing shortages.

Business Insider could not immediately reach the Department of Justice or the MCC for comment.

Read more: The prison guards watching over Jeffrey Epstein were reportedly working extreme overtime shifts on the morning of his death

According to reports, there were multiple breaches in protocol regarding the supervision of Epstein: prison guards were required to check on Epstein every 30 minutes, which they failed to do, officials told The Times, and Epstein was being housed alone after his cellmate was transferred and was not replaced.

Epstein, who was charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, was placed on suicide watch after he was found unconscious with bruises on July 23. After he was removed from suicide watch near the end of July, he was transferred to a housing unit in one of the most restrictive wings of the Metropolitan Correctional Center. He was found unresponsive in his cell Saturday morning. After attempts to revive him, he was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Attorney General William Barr expressed outrage that the financier had been left unsupervised and assured that “there will be accountability.” Both the FBI and the Office of the Inspector General are investigating.

“We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation,” Barr told The Times. “We will get to the bottom of what happened.”

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