Two prison guards who were supervising Jeffrey Epstein before his death last summer will face criminal charges this week. However, the guards will not be charged with murder and the development sheds no light on Mr. Epstein’s mysterious death.
The Associated Press reports that the two corrections officers will face criminal charges relating to falsifying documents. The pair, who had been working overtime due to staffing shortages, are suspected of failing to carry out the required half-hour checks on Epstein and faking logbook entries to cover up their actions.
The officers were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation by the FBI and Justice Department Inspector General. If the officers are indicted by a grand jury, they will be placed on unpaid suspension until the outcome of the case is determined.
Jeffrey Epstein, a millionaire playboy with connections to the Clintons, Donald Trump, the royal family as well as numerous other celebrities and politicians, was arrested earlier this year on charges of sexually abusing and sex trafficking underage girls. He allegedly attempted suicide on July 23 in his cell and was placed on suicide watch. He was eventually removed from suicide watch at his lawyer’s request and was found dead in his cell on August 10.
Epstein’s death sparked a nationwide conspiracy frenzy, but the coroner reported that the cause of death was suicide. In October, Michael Baden, a private pathologist hired by the Epstein family, said that injuries to Epstein’s body, such as fractures to the larynx and hyoid bone, were "extremely unusual in suicidal hangings" and more consistent with "homicidal strangulation."
However, Barbara Sampson, the chief medical examiner for New York City, stood by her initial determination, noting that Epstein’s injuries were consistent with a hanging death in an older person. Epstein was 66.
"In forensics, it's a general principle that all information from all aspects of an investigation must be considered together," Sampson told US News. "Everything must be consistent and nothing can be inconsistent, and no one finding can be taken in isolation. You can't draw a conclusion from one finding. Everything about the case has to be considered."
While we don’t know exactly what happened to Jeffrey Epstein, the preponderance of the evidence that we currently have points toward suicide. The rub is that much of the evidence also points toward a gray area where murder was at least possible.
The criminal charges against the two guards are another example of evidence that can be viewed through either lens. Under the official view, the neglect of Epstein by the guards allowed the prisoner to seize the opportunity to kill himself. Under the view of the conspiracy theorists, the guards turned their heads while he was murdered. More evidence is required to prove either theory conclusively.
Originally published on The Resurgent