Federal prosecutors say surveillance video of Jeffrey Epstein's first apparent suicide attempt was deleted
© Getty Images

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that surveillance video of Jeffrey Epstein’s first apparent suicide attempt was deleted.

Footage of outside Epstein’s cell on July 23, when he was found semiconscious at 1:27 a.m., was inadvertently deleted after the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) saved the video from another floor of the facility, prosecutors said in a court filing obtained by NBC News

The center "inadvertently preserved video from the wrong tier within the MCC and as a result, video from outside the defendant’s cell on July 22-23, 2019 no longer exists,” the court filing reads. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The FBI reportedly discovered the error after reviewing the footage provided to the bureau.

"After reviewing the video, it appeared to the government that the footage contained on the preserved video was for the correct date and time, but captured a different tier ... because the preserved video did not show corrections officers responding to any of the cells seen on the video,” prosecutors said in the filing, according to NBC News.

The court filing was made in a case involving Epstein’s cellmate on that night, Nicholas Tartaglione, whose lawyer had requested the footage to prove his client’s innocence. The incident was originally being investigated as a suicide attempt, assault or scheme by Epstein to get relocated in the facility.

The MCC agreed to Tartaglione's lawyer's original request, but a clerical error listing an incorrect cell for Tartaglione prevented the facility from producing the correct footage. A backup video was unavailable due to “technical errors,” prosecutors said in the documents.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons declined to comment to The Hill, citing the case is under current investigation by the FBI and the Department of Justice of the Inspector General. 

NBC News reported in August that Tartaglione, a former police officer accused of killing four men, was exonerated of wrongdoing in the apparent attempted suicide.

Epstein was found dead in his cell in an apparent suicide a few weeks later, and the MCC did obtain footage from outside his cell on the night of his death. Prosecutors say the footage will show the two guards lied when they said they performed mandatory checks on Epstein.

The now-deceased financier had been accused of sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors in sex. Several conspiracy theories have arisen over Epstein’s death, questioning whether it was a suicide.