Official autopsy concludes Epstein death's was suicide by hanging
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[August 17, 2019]
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City's
chief medical examiner determined on Friday that suicide by hanging was
the cause of death for financier Jeffrey Epstein, whose body was found
six days ago in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex
The sparely worded official announcement detailing the autopsy
conclusions rebutted a host of conspiracy theories - including one
promoted by President Donald Trump - that had circulated on social media
about the death of the well-connected former money manager.
Epstein's lawyers said they were "not satisfied" with the medical
examiner's conclusions and planned to carry out their own investigation,
seeking prison videos taken around the time of his death.
Epstein, 66, was found unresponsive on Saturday in his cell at the
Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), triggering investigations into
the circumstances of his death. He was arrested on July 6 and pleaded
not guilty to federal charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of
underage girls as young as 14.
Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson said her determination of the
cause of death came after a "careful review of all investigative
information, including complete autopsy findings."
"Cause: Hanging. Manner: Suicide," the statement said, without providing
supporting details for Sampson's findings.
Details of the findings had been leaking into the news media over the
past few days. Two law enforcement sources told Reuters on Thursday that
Epstein's neck had been broken in several places, confirming a
Washington Post report that to some had raised questions about possible
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A medical examiner vehicle is seen Metropolitan Correctional Center
jail where financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in the
Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., August 10, 2019.
REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File Photo
Epstein, a registered sex offender who once counted Trump and former
President Bill Clinton as friends, pleaded guilty in 2008 to Florida
state charges of unlawfully paying a teenage girl for sex.
Epstein had been on suicide watch at the jail but was taken off
prior to his death, a source who was not authorized to speak on the
matter said previously. At the MCC, two jail guards are required to
make separate checks on all prisoners every 30 minutes, but that
procedure was not followed, the source added.
"It is indisputable that the authorities violated their own
protocols," Epstein's lawyers Martin Weinberg, Reid Weingarten and
Michael Miller said in a statement, describing conditions in the
area he was held as, "harsh, even medieval."
U.S. Attorney General William Barr has criticized "serious
irregularities" at the facility.
(Reporting by Nathan Layne in New York; Editing by Will Dunham,
Noeleen Walder and Simon Cameron-Moore)
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