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Prosecutors drop charges against two correctional officers in connection with Jeffrey Epstein suicide

GETTY/Spencer Platt

(NEW YORK) -- Federal prosecutors in New York officially dropped charges against Tova Noel and Michael Thomas – the two correctional officers on duty when Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide in a federal lockup there.

In August 2019, Epstein was found dead in his cell in the early hours of the morning at the now-closed Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Noel and Thomas allegedly falsified government records and fell asleep on the job according to a November 2019 indictment. Leaders from the federal correctional officers union argued this case was unprecedented and typically would be handled administratively.

In May, the two officers entered into a deferred prosecution agreement – contingent on Thomas and Noel completing community service and having good behavior.

In a Thursday court filing, prosecutors said they were dropping the case, formally ending the prosecution of the two officers.

The Justice Department has yet to release any report regarding the timeframe leading up to Epstein’s suicide or days after.

Documents obtained by ABC News through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in early December from the Bureau of Prisons do shed a little light on what occurred.

“I have no interest in killing myself,” Epstein told a BOP psychologist two weeks before he died by suicide, according to the documents.

Epstein also previously attempted suicide on July 23, according to the records, which were first obtained by the New York Times.

Included in the records was an e-mail from an unnamed inmate who worked in the kitchen at MCC.

“Jeffrey Epstein definitely killed himself. Any conspiracy theories to the contrary are ridiculous,” this inmate wrote to the BOP. “He wanted to kill himself and seized the opportunity when it was available.”

This inmate told BOP officials he heard Epstein ripping up the bed sheet he used to hang himself.

Former Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press shortly after the suicide that it was the “perfect storm of screw ups” that lead to his death.

Earlier this week, Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime associate of Epstein, was convicted on five of six counts related to the abuse and trafficking of underage girls.

Maxwell faced a six-count indictment for allegedly conspiring with and aiding Epstein in his sexual abuse of underage girls between 1994 and 2004.

Prosecutors alleged that Maxwell played a "key role" in a multi-state sex trafficking scheme in which she allegedly "befriended" and later "enticed and groomed multiple minor girls to engage in sex acts with Epstein" and was also, at times, "present for and involved" in the abuse herself.

 

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