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Jeffrey Epstein reportedly told his attorneys that his muscle-bound ex-cop cellmate had roughed him up in the July incident that landed the financier on suicide watch.
An unnamed source told The New York Post that Epstein had confided to his legal team that the neck injuries he had suffered July 23 were the result of an apparent altercation between Epstein and Nicholas Tartaglione, a former police officer in Westchester County who is facing four counts of murder for cocaine-related killngs in upstate New York.
After Epstein was discovered nearly unconscious in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center with injuries to his neck, authorities had placed him on suicide watch while the continued to investigate the incident—triggering more frequent checks to the convicted pedophile’s jail cell.
But that designation was removed just days before Epstein was found dead in his cell Saturday morning with a bedsheet wrapped around his neck.
The source claimed that Epstein had told his attorneys that “the cop roughed him up, and that’s why they got him off suicide watch.”
Tartaglione’s attorney Bruce Barket told Fox News that Tartaglione had been transferred out of Epstein’s cell in the facility’s Special Housing Unit after Epstein had been placed on suicide watch. His new cellmate had also been removed from the cell shortly before Epstein died.
Barket also denied the source’s claims that Epstein had confided in his attorneys that Tartaglione had injured Epstein.
“I spoke to his lawyers and they never hinted at that to me, but he must have said something to get off suicide watch,” Barket told The Post.
According to Barket, Tartaglione was never brought up on any charges in the incident indicating that the institution had “cleared him” of any involvement.
“It’s simply, patently false to say that [Epstein] did anything other than try to kill himself at least twice, and succeeded when he succeeded,” he said.
A law enforcement source told The New York Daily News after the incident that Tartaglione told officials he had actually tried to help Epstein after he found him unconscious in the cell they shared together.
“You’ve got a guy who is a millionaire who is now living among rats and mold and wants to go home,” the source said. “This is a disgusting place and the people there, they treat you disgusting. Who wouldn’t be suicidal in that kind of place? You have a silver spoon in your mouth and then you’re put in a cesspool.”
Barket also told the paper at the time that the two had become “friends” during their short time together as cell mates.
While Taraglione’s attorney contends jail officials have cleared his client of any wrongdoing, a letter from federal Judge Richard Berman to the warden of MCC describes what happened that day as an “open question.”
“To my knowledge, it has never been definitively explained what the [Bureau of Prisons] concluded about that incident,” Berman wrote, according to The Post.
Warden Lamine N’Diave later responded in a letter dated the same day that the internal investigation was completed but said the FBI and Justice Department Office of Inspector General also plan to look at the incident as part of a broader examination into how Epstein ended up dead while in federal custody.
N’Diave declined to provide any details about what the internal investigation had concluded.
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