- New York City’s medical examiner ruled Jeffrey Epstein’s August 2019 death a suicide
- The prison workers were accused of sleeping and browsing the internet instead of monitoring Epstein
- In a deal with prosecutors, the two guards will enter into a deferred prosecution agreement
However, the pair will avoid any time behind bars under a deal with federal prosecutors, authorities say.
The prison workers, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, were accused of sleeping and browsing the internet instead of monitoring Epstein on the night he took his own life in August 2019.
They were charged with lying on prison records to make it seem as though they had made required checks on the sex offender financier before he was found in his cell on August 10.
New York City’s medical examiner ruled Epstein’s death a suicide.
As part of the deal with prosecutors, the two guards will enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department.
It means they will serve no time behind bars, according to a letter from federal prosecutors filed in court papers Friday.
Ms Noel and Mr Thomas would instead be subjected to supervised release, complete 100 hours of community service, and fully cooperate with an ongoing probe by the Justice Department’s inspector general, the letter says.
“[The two] admitted that they ‘willfully and knowingly completed materially false count and round slips regarding required counts and rounds’,” according to the letter.
The deal would need to be approved by a judge, which could come as soon as next week.
Prosecutors alleged that Noel and Thomas sat at their desks about 4.5 metres from Epstein’s cell, shopped online for furniture and motorcycles, and walked around the unit’s common area instead of making required rounds every 30 minutes.
During one two-hour period the pair appeared to have been asleep, according to the indictment filed against them.
Epstein’s death was a major embarrassment for the federal Bureau of Prisons and highlighted major security and staffing issues within the agency.
It revealed the jail was suffering from problems including chronic staffing shortages that led to mandatory overtime for guards day after day and other staff being pressed into service as correctional officers.