Nov 19, 2019

Two prison guards on duty during Jeffrey Epstein's death charged

The Manhattan Correctional Center where the Jeffrey Epstein was found dead. Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Two federal prison guards, who were on duty at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in mid-August when financier Jeffrey Epstein was found dead, were charged on Tuesday in connection with their alleged failure to properly check on Epstein as ordered.

Why it matters: These are the first charges to emerge from a criminal inquiry into Epstein's death, which has prompted investigations and the removal of the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

What the indictment says: "As a result of the defendants' conduct, no correctional officer conducted any count or round of the [special housing unit] from approximately 10:30 p.m. on August 9 until approximately 6:30 a.m. on August 10, at which time, as alleged herein, NOEL and THOMAS discovered the body of an MCC inmate, Jeffrey Epstein, who had committed suicide overnight while unobserved."

Details: The indictment accuses the guards, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, of sitting at their desk, browsing the internet and wandering the common area, rather than checking on Epstein every 30 minutes as they were ordered.

  • It accuses them of subsequently conspiring and falsifying prison records to "conceal their failure to perform their duties."

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Prince Andrew steps down from royal duties "for foreseeable future"

Prince Andrew. Photo: Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/ via Getty Images

Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, announced Wednesday in a statement that Queen Elizabeth gave him permission to step away from his royal duties, saying "circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein [have] become a major disruption to my family's work."

The big picture: The move comes as the duke has faced growing backlash after a recent BBC interview in which he answered questions for the first time about his friendship with Epstein. He also denied ever having a sexual relationship with one of Epstein’s accusers, as she has claimed.

Go deeperArrowNov 20, 2019

British police defend decision not to investigate Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew in Bangkok on Nov. 3, 2019. Photo: Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP via Getty Images

London's Metropolitan Police says it did not have the "appropriate authority" to investigate a 2015 claim from one of Jeffrey Epstein's accusers that she had sex with Prince Andrew while allegedly trafficked by Epstein, AP reports.

Driving the news: The force concluded in 2016 that it "was the wrong agency to investigate," London's Metropolitan Police Commander Alex Murray said on Thursday. Andrew stepped away from his royal duties last week, following a BBC interview in which he defended his friendship with Epstein.

Go deeperArrowNov 28, 2019

Barr: Jeffrey Epstein's death was a "perfect storm of screw-ups"

Attorney General William Barr. Photo: Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Bar concluded Jeffrey Epstein's death was the result of "a perfect storm of screw-ups" during an interview with the AP.

The big picture: The death of the convicted sex offender in one of the most secure jails in America has sparked criminal charges against the guards monitoring him, controversy and even conspiracy theories, given Epstein's links to powerful people around the globe. Barr acknowledged as much in the interview, saying that he "can understand people who immediately — whose minds went to sort of the worst-case scenario."

Go deeper: What we know: The life and death of Jeffrey Epstein

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