Millionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who apparently killed himself while in federal custody in Manhattan, was taken off suicide watch in late July at the request of his attorneys, according to a report.
The disgraced money manager was found unresponsive in his single-inmate cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center early Saturday and was declared dead at NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital.
Epstein had been meeting with his attorneys for up to 12 hours a day before they requested that he be taken off suicide watch, sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.
He was found hanging by his neck about 6:30 a.m. Saturday, a source has told The Post.
Epstein was taken off suicide watch – which required a check every 15 minutes — despite a July 23 incident in which he was found with injuries to his neck.
He had been downgraded to “special observation status,” which required two guards to make separate checks on him every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not followed, a source has told Reuters.
Under the status, Epstein also was supposed to have a cellmate, a person familiar with the matter told the Journal.
His cellmate had apparently left, possibly for a court appearance or another appointment, and was not immediately replaced as required by protocol, the source told the newspaper.
In addition, the decision to remove an inmate off suicide watch would normally have to have been OK’d by the jail’s suicide-prevention program coordinator and then approved by the warden, according to NBC News, which cited protocols.
“Once an inmate has been placed on watch, the watch may not be terminated, under any circumstance, without the program coordinator or designee performing a face-to-face evaluation,” according to the federal Bureau of Prisons official guidelines issued in 2007.
The New York City medical examiner performed an autopsy Sunday but said more information was needed before a determination is made about the death.
Marc Fernich, one of Epstein’s lawyers, declined to comment to The Post on Monday about the Journal report, citing the ongoing investigation.
Additional reporting by Emily Saul