The FBI is examining two cameras that malfunctioned outside the jail cell where Jeffrey Epstein died while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, Reuters reported late Wednesday night.
The news agency cited a law enforcement source.
Both cameras were within view of Epstein’s cell in the special housing unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, Reuters reported. Investigators sent the cameras for analysis at the FBI crime lab in Quantico, Virginia.
The Washington Post reported Monday that at least one camera in the hallway outside Epstein’s cell contained usable footage. Additional, clearer footage was also captured in the area, the newspaper said.
Epstein’s lawyers Reid Weingarten and Martin Weinberg told U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan on Tuesday they had doubts about the New York City chief medical examiner’s conclusion that their client killed himself.
The U.S. Justice Department, the FBI and the Federal Bureau of prisons, all of which are investigating Epstein’s death, declined to comment to Reuters. Lawyers for Epstein also declined to comment.
Two broken cameras and the conspiracy theories about Epstein’s death
News of the broken cameras has fueled conspiracy theories about Epstein’s death. There are plenty of reasons for suspicion.
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) August 29, 2019
Epstein ― who once counted President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton among his many powerful friends ―had been taken off suicide watch just days after apparently trying to kill himself. He was then was left alone in a cell without close supervision.
According to CBS News, shrieking was heard from Epstein’s cell the day he died.
In addition to leaving Epstein without a cellmate, the prison appeared to have violated a number of protocols in incarcerating the high-profile inmate.
The two guards who were supposed to be watching Epstein when he died falsified records to indicate that they had checked on Epstein, The New York Times reported. In reality, the guards failed in their duty to look in on Epstein and his fellow inmates every 30 minutes, and he was left unattended for several hours before he was found dead.
One of the two guards on duty was a substitute who did not typically work as a correctional officer, The Times further reported.
Attorney General William Barr last week replaced acting Bureau of Prisons Director Hugh Hurwitz. He had previously said he was “angry” and “appalled” with Metropolitan Correctional Center officials over Epstein’s death.
At a court hearing in New York on Tuesday, 16 women said Epstein had sexually abused them. Some lamented that his death would prevent them from getting justice.