The two staff members who were responsible for guarding the unit when Jeffrey Epstein died of apparent suicide over the weekend fell asleep for nearly three hours when they were supposed to check on the prisoner every 30 minutes, The New York Times reported.
The same staff members — whom Attorney General William Barr directed be placed on administrative leave until the end of the investigation on Tuesday — then falsified their duty log to try to cover up the mistake, which could be considered a federal crime, according to the Times. Both guards were working overtime. One had been forced to due to short staffing and the other had not been working as a guard at the time, but volunteered to do the duties for the overtime pay, according to the Times.
Epstein, the billionaire financier being held on federal sex trafficking charges, was found dead at 6:30 a.m. ET Saturday. Epstein reportedly apparently hanged himself with a bedsheet. He was supposed to have a cellmate, but that person had been transferred out of his cell on Friday night and was not replaced.
Epstein had previously been placed on suicide watch for six days previously, but was determined to no longer be a threat to his own life.