One of Jeffrey Epstein’s prison guards, Tova Noel, who was charged Tuesday with falsifying records to cover an unauthorized period of absence, now says she wants to cooperate with Federal prosecutors and spill details about the night Epstein committed suicide to Federal investigators.
It’s not clear what information Noel has that would interest either the Department of Justice or the Federal Bureau of Investigation, aside from details about why she was missing from her post for at least two hours the night Epstein hung himself in his prison cell at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, the New York Post reports.
Noel and her fellow prison guard Michael Thomas were arrested Tuesday and charged with criminal conspiracy and falsifying official records “for allegedly fudging ‘count slips’ while failing for hours to check on Epstein and other inmates in the MCC’s ninth-floor Special Housing Unit,” according to the Post.
Epstein had attempted suicide by hanging just a week before and had only recently been moved off suicide watch when Noel and Thomas decided to abrogate their duties and spend the evening “goofing off,” as the Post put it. When they returned to duty at 6:30 a.m. to deliver breakfast to the accused pedophile and child trafficker, they found him dead, hanging in his cell, having used strips of cloth ripped from his bedsheet to form a makeshift noose.
Federal investigators are looking to get to the bottom of the odd circumstances and events surrounding Epstein’s death and, as the Daily Wire reported earlier this week, the Bureau of Prisons chief, in charge of the Manhattan prison where Epstein died, admitted that the FBI and DOJ may be considering the possibility that a “criminal enterprise” was involved in the incident.
The two guards were arrested Tuesday after being informed they were under scrutiny sometime late last week.
“As alleged, the defendants had a duty to ensure the safety and security of federal inmates in their care at the Metropolitan Correctional Center,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said about the arrests in a statement. “Instead, they repeatedly failed to conduct mandated checks on inmates, and lied on official forms to hide their dereliction.”
Wednesday, Noel’s lawyers made their first efforts at inking a plea deal by offering information.
“In fact, Ms. Noel remains available to fully and truthfully cooperate with the Inspector General’s investigation, which is also geared toward uncovering the many problems that existed from the commencement of her employment which continue to plague the Metropolitan Correctional Center,” her defense lawyer said in a statement.
Noel’s lawyers did not specify further what information Noel could offer, but presumably it has, at least, something to do with the inner workings of MCC. In addition to guards that were apparently sleeping on the job, the jail suffered from malfunctioning security cameras and questionable management, all of which affected Epstein’s stay. And although an autopsy concluded that Epstein’s death was a suicide, the strange circumstances have allowed questions to persist.
The FBI and DOJ investigations are ongoing. Congress is also currently hearing testimony from jail officials over how they were able to lose such a high-profile defendant. Those hearings have gone largely unnoticed, falling victim to a focus on the House impeachment inquiry.
Author: Emily Zanotti